a shocking and gruesome incident the oil mafia January 25 burnt
the Additional Collector of Malegaon, Yashwant Sonawane to death.
He met with the unfortunate fate when he was on duty and on the
way to attend a scheduled meeting in Nandgaon. Full two days after
his untimely death, it is still hard to believe that the ever
smiling officer and the one who was eager to help everyone is no
fact, at around 06:00 PM January 24, he was giving ummid.com
the update of the important meeting he had finished at Mantralaya.
The meeting was called by Maharashtra Minority Department to
assess the options available to establish Aligarh Muslim
University (AMU) off-campus centre in Maharashtra. Yashwant
Sonawane was representing Malegaon with the complete details of
the land, the local administration had identified near Malegaon
for the purpose. He was excited and pleased beyond limits.
"The meeting is over just now and I am calling right from the
Mantralaya. I was the only district officer who had come with a
concrete proposal. Now, I am sure we will make AMU off campus
centre in Malegaon a reality", a beaming Yeshwant Sonawane was
telling on phone.
Well aware of the importance of this project and believing the AMU
off-campus centre if established in Malegaon would bring dramatic
turnaround for the development of the entire region. Hence, ever
since he was invited for the January 24 meeting, he was minutely
taking notes of every single point.
don't want to leave a single point unaddressed", he had said to
ummid.com January 23 even though he was in Nasik and busy because
of the Chief Minister's visit to the district headquarter.
Part of the triangle with his deputy and SDM Malegaon Ajay More
and former Nashik Collector S Chokalingham earlier and now with P
Velarasu, Yeshwant Sonawane was also instrumental in the
establishment of the MIDC Industrial Area in Malegaon. Once done
with this, he was tirelessly working for its extension plan.
"We should work on the projects having long term impact and
capacity to sustain and give results for years and years", he used
to say. In fact, he used to encourage people to approach him at
ke liye aap kabhi bhi phone kijiye, main haazir hun", this was
his general suggestion to every one. And, he really meant this and
never returned anyone for howsoever small work they approached
The industrialists and investors were reluctant to come to
Malegaon because of its long history of communal unrest and two
terrorist attacks. Yeshwant Sonawane would always invite them by
saying, "Riots and blasts to ab sabhi jagha hote hai ... They are
not limited to Malegaon. That people of Malegaon also want
development is evident from the fact that they remained peaceful
after the two terrorist attacks."
Looking at his working style, it became very clear that he was so
devout towards his duties that he always wanted to complete his
assignments before others. This is why after receiving the
government order to send proposals and draft of the measures to be
taken as part of the state government's ambitious plan titled "Maharashtra
after 25 years", he was perhaps the first in the state to call
people with suggestions and proposals for the development of the
is, however, now seems why he was in a hurry to complete his
assignments. Perhaps, he had a feeling that he had very little
time left. His death is an irreparable loss for the people of
Malegaon and he would always be remembered as the one who tried
hard to bring change in the region.