Popat Shinde, prime accused in the murder of Additional District Collector Yashwant Sonawane, died in Mumbai on Monday at a state-run hospital while undergoing treatment for burn injuries.
"Shinde died on Monday afternoon. After conducting a post-mortem, the body would be handed over to the police investigating the murder case of Sonawane," said P P Lahane, dean at J J hospital.
According to the FIR in the case, Shinde, helped by his son Kunal, and their aides --Balerao and Shirsat -- had allegedly poured kerosene on Sonawane and torched him on January 25 at Manmad in Nashik district after the collector objected to oil pilferage. Shinde had sustained 70 per cent burns 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 Sonawane's murder. The police had tried to record Shinde's statement but could not do so as he could not speak.