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Jan 28, 2011 at 09:21pm IST

Sonawane's video crucial evidence: RR Patil

New Delhi/Mumbai: A day after CNN-IBN aired the video allegedly shot by late Additional Collector of Malegaon Yashwant Sonawane in which he documented the operations of the kerosene mafia, Maharshtra's Home minister RR Patil says it is crucial evidence and will be submitted to the court.

“The video will be fully examined and based on that next investigation will take place. It can be submitted as evidence in the court,” said Patil.

It is believed that Sonawane was killed for having captured the operations of the kerosene mafia. The state government has been cracking down on the oil mafia after the killing.

The video clearly shows how the fuel mafia steals petrol and kerosene before the tankers reach the depots.

Pilferage of oil is not new to Maharashtra. Official sources tell us that such raids are conducted every year. In 2008, fuel worth nearly Rs 10 crore was seized in Thane region alone. In 2009, this amount was three times the previous year.

Sonawane's murder triggered a massive crackdown on the oil adulteration mafias. The Maharashtra government has raided more godowns at Solapur, Sangli and Ahmednagar areas. An CNN-IBN team had accompanied the Maharashtra Police while they raided the Kurla area.

There have been nearly 200 arrests made across the state after the murder of Yashwant Sonawane. But that is not enough. The illegal market was pegged at Rs 10,000 crore in 2005 and its only getting bigger. And if the government wants to ensure there will be no more Sonawane, they will have to do much better than a few arrests.

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