While the nation was bracing for celebrating 62nd Republic Day and patriotic feelings being spread out through national songs and symposiums and lip-services paid by netas, an additional collector was set ablaze in broad daylight in Manmad near Malegaon. What could be the reason behind this scene as Sonawane did not believe in singing patriotic paean like others nor was he ready to listen patriotic speeches from holier than thou leaders. What he might have thought to honour the nation on the eve of Repbulic Day that to dismantle the nexus of oil mafia and stop fuel heist. Shocking to his endeavour and to the nation indeed was that perpetrators doused 44- year-old Yeshwant Sonawane with kerosene and burnt him alive in such a brutal way which has shaken the honest policy and officials across.

It was surprising that the way the Maharashtra government and Central dispensation started taking action against the fuel mafia, ordering an inquiry into the incident instantly as if they were unaware of malpractices. It is a routine affair of the state machinery to swing into action after any incident, but result is naught. There is no mechanism to check the repetition of rampant malafide action. Some years back the same blood curdling incident had happened when an Indian oil official Manjunath was killed by the oil mafia for cracking down at the oil rackets. This incident clearly unearthed a wide network of the oil racket is sprawling its feet in the country. Had the government been actively pinned down on pilfering and adulteration of oil by the mafia and passed stringent rules to checkmate the malpractices, Sonawane would not have met the similar fate. It is obvious that adulteration of petrol-diesel has become a large-scale business and the people involved in this money-minting illegal trade have gone unbridled. But no government seems to be bothered about it. Needless to say that a major amount of subsidized kerosene oil, meant for the poor, is siphoned off to the oil mafia and they blackmarket it impudently.  The mafia swelled their coffer by plundering public fund. In all this unlawful business, the government is standing as a mute spectator. Speculation is rife, the hobnobbing of blackmarketeers with politicians fuels the illegal trade. The killer of Sonawane is reported to have political patronage.

The brutal murder of Sonawane summarily describes that law and order of the state is completely defunct. The saddening and surprising thing is that the anti-social elements dared to burn the additional district collector alive in broad daylight.  Wouldn’t it be a patriotic urge that there should be proper investigation and prompt punishment to the killers of Sonawane and they should be punished at the earliest without any ambiguity?