Rahul Gandhi shocked by Sonawane killing

Saturday, January 29, 2011

AURANGABAD - Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi on Saturday expressed shock over the burning alive of Additional District Collector Yashwant Sonawane in Manmad, Maharashtra.

He said the Central and State Governments must ensure that such incidents don’t take place and in case they do, then strict action should be taken against the culprits.

Addressing a press conference in Aurangabad, Gandhi said such incidents take place because political parties lack democracy.

“I am shocked that such an incident took place and the government must ensure that such a crime is not repeated again. If the average person wants to do good, then he or she should be allowed to be a part of the political system and change the structure for the betterment of the country,” he added.

“Terror is murder of innocent people, it has no religion. No religion preaches killings of innocent people,” he said.

Gandhi said corruption is a serious issue, but a systemic problem.

“There are two ways to fight this issue. Firstly, strict and timely action should be taken and I am sure that the chief minister is committed to do so. Secondly, one must open the doors of politics, which is what I am committed towards. There is a need to change the political structure. Everyone talks of corruption, but few want to do something,” he added.

Sonawane was burnt alive by the oil mafia on Tuesday at Manmad in Nasik District. He had gone there to conduct raids.

According to the police, a group of eleven men poured kerosene on him, and set him on fire. Sonawane tried to fight back by grabbing Popat Shinde, the ringleader of his attackers, but died within minutes.

Shinde is now in a local hospital with serious burn injuries.

The other accused were produced before a local court in Manmad on Wednesday and remanded to police custody till February 8.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has announced a compensation of Rs.25 lakh for the Sonawane family. (ANI)

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