Nine accused of burning official alive are held

Indian police have arrested nine people in connection with the burning alive of a government official investigating a fuel racket. The nine have been charged with murder, wrongful restraint and use of criminal force to deter a public servant from doing his job. The official was checking suspicious behaviour on the Nashik-Manmad highway, about 200km (124 miles) from Mumbai. He was attacked by four men who set him on fire with kerosene.

The official’s driver was beaten up and one of the attackers was seriously injured in the incident. Police suspect that the “fuel mafia” – a criminal group who adulterate petrol with cheaper kerosene – was to blame for the death of 44-year-old Yashwant Sonawane. Police say that the revenue officer had seen some men stealing fuel from kerosene tankers in Manmand when Tuesday’s incident happened. They said that the men fled when Mr Sonawane approached them, but later four men arrived on two motorcycles and attacked him after arguing with him. The attackers doused him with kerosene that had been stolen from the tankers and set him on fire. Mr Sonwane died on the spot, police said. – BBC