Prime accused in Sonawane murder case dead

Mumbai: Popat Shinde, the prime accused in the case where Additional District Collector Yashwant Sonawane was burnt alive, today succumbed to burn injuries sustained during the attack on the official a week ago.

Shinde died at a state-run hospital while undergoing treatment for burn injuries, hospital authorities said.

"Shinde died this afternoon. After conducting post mortem, the body would be handed over to police investigating Sonawane`s murder case," P P Lahane, Dean at J J hospital told PTI.

Police had tried to record Shinde`s statement but could not do so as he could not speak.

According to the FIR in the case, Shinde, helped by his son Kunal, and their aides–Balerao and Shirsat–, had poured kerosene on Sonawane and torched him on January 25 at Manmad in Nashik district, about 250 km from here, after the Malegaon Additional District Collector objected to oil pilferage.

Shinde had suffered 70 per cent burn injuries in the incident and had been rushed next day to J J hospital, where he was undergoing treatment.

His condition deteriorated in the last couple of days and he had been kept under observation, doctors said.

Eleven persons, including Shinde, were arrested in connection with the killing of Sonawane.