For an out-and-out case of lawlessness that is prevalent in certain parts of India, Sonawane paid a hefty price for a career built on integrity and a sincere wish to rectify corruption-infested oil mafia thriving in Maharashtra.
The Additional District Collector was brutally murdered and set ablaze by a group of people involved in oil pilferage that was draining the country's exchequer by thousands of crores. When the whole country was reeling under the frequent hike in fuel prices, there was anti-social elements out there who was making a quick buck in the chaos.
An exclusive video shot by Sonawane himself was available with CNN-IBN that revealed how the pilferage was carried out. The video shows how tankers of fuel were adulterated making Nashik a hot bed of fuel trafficking. The video also revealed how fuel trucks had secret compartments to con fuel retailers.
With the poor mans fuel – kerosene prices remaining unchanged, and petrol prices shooting up the roof, gangs in Nashik flourish like never before. An estimated Rs 10,000 crore sham, there are many other lobby's that are operating to con the common man.
Meanwhile the Centre admitted that the subsidy on kerosene was the reason for the mafia flourishing. The Minister of States for Petroleum RPN Singh says, "The states need to tighten their distribution of kerosene"; while the Union Minister of Petroleum Jaipal Reddy took a safe stand and ruled out any reduction in subsidy for 'politically sensitive' kerosene and diesel.
How many more Sonawane's will die such gruesome deaths before the government wakes up to the problem that is waiting to explode? Or, will the oil mafia be successful in silencing the protests? Lets wait and watch.