Know The Hero: An IAS Officer Who Laid His Life Fighting Against Oil Mafia

The Logical Indian Maharashtra

September 6th, 2015 / 8:09 PM

Image: intoday

We nag about the cases where the civil servants have not performed their duty but have we heard about those brave hero who gave their life in the line of duty and living up to people’s expectation of a crime free society.

Yashwant Sonawane was one such officer who will always be remembered for his stiff and stern action taken against fuel mafia. He was posted as an Additional District Collector of Malegaon in Maharashtra.

He received some information about fuel adulteration, a week before his death from reliable sources. On his way, to Nandgaon for a tehsildar meeting he spotted a few trucks parked in a suspicious way near IOC, HPCL and BPCL depots. After he spotted those trucks he immediately got off from the car to investigate the matter himself. Yashwant was not accompanied by police but his staff and personal assistant.

After a while, a man named Popat Shinde, famous for his notoriety in oil adulteration, along with his men attacked the officer, beat him up and then set on fire. He was brought to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Seven persons were arrested on January 26, 2011, a day after Yashwant’s death. On January 27, 2011, the authorities carried out the raid at nearly 200 places arresting as many as 180 people in trying to crack down on the oil mafia.

The then oil minister S Jaipal Reddy declared Yashwant a martyr, in a press conference. The prime accused Popat Shinde who also suffered burn injuries died due to septicemia on January 31, 2011.

However, a startling revelation came out when in the ongoing investigations it was revealed that Yashwant had sought bribe of 1 lakh from Shinde which later became the biggest cause of their enmity.

As per the reports in 2010, Yashwant’s office had seized 4000 litres of kerosene and 3000 litres of petrol from Shinde’s dhaba in Panewadi village in Manmad. The police however, seized the oil found and took action against Shinde under the Essential Commodities Maintenance Act (ESMA). Despite six FIR’s being filed between 2006 and 2010, no action has ever been taken against the accused, Shinde. The report further says that Popat was in the oil pilferage trade for the past 30 years.

The list of whistleblowers dying in the line of duty in their bid to stop corrupt practice goes on, but the pertinent question will always be raised. How far has our administration controlled the oil pilferage and has the justice been done to the ongoing list of brave heart’s sacrifices?


Written by :

Edited by :

Share your thoughts..

Related Stories

Usa Iran India

Politics Of Oil: India Can Buy Iranian Oil Even After USA’s “Toughest Ever” Sanctions On Iran

UPA Oil Prices

Have UPA-Era Oil Bonds Prevented Modi Govt From Reducing Oil Prices?

Kannan Gopinathan

Without Revealing His Identity, This IAS Officer Volunteered For 8 Days In Kerala Flood Relief Camps

My Story

Life Story: “It’s Not My Clothes Or Shoes That Matter,” An Autorickshaw Driver’s Son’s Journey To Being IAS Officer

Aurangzeb Killed Kashmir

“My Son Has Laid Down His Life For The Country. I Shall Too”: Martyred Army Man Aurangzeb’s Father

Remembering Param Vir Subedar Joginder Singh Who Laid His Life Fighting Chinese Until His Ammunition Ran Out

Latest on The Logical Indian


Why Does India Still Allow Politicians To Contest From More Than One Constituency?


Worrying Sign: India Slips 2 Places In Press Freedom Index, Ranked 140 Out Of 180 Countries


Corporate India Reeks Of Caste Preferences: Study Reveals Corporates Consider Caste > Profits For Mergers

Get Inspired

Menaka Guruswamy And Arundhati Katju – Advocates Who Fought For LGBTQ Are On Time’s 100 Most Influential People

Get Inspired

Menaka Guruswamy And Arundhati Katju – Advocates Who Fought For LGBTQ Are On Time’s 100 Most Influential People


Delhi: Hacker Disguised As Retired Army Personnel, Robs Online Buyer Of Rs 2.5 Lac


Stories that deserve attention, delivered to your inbox!

Handpicked, newsworthy stories which deserve the attention of a rational generation.