Delhi: Villagers attack discom team, four hurt

A team of inspectors from BSES Rajdhani Power Limited were roughed up by villagers in outer Delhi’s Mundka on Thursday where they had gone to check instances of power theft. Three BSES officials and one Delhi Police sub-inspector were injured and scores of vehicles damaged in the incident.

BSES officials said the attack was the handiwork of people who indulged in organised power theft. Pointing out how they were not deterred by the presence of a 20-member police team, an official of the discom said, “The attack shows how power thieves are becoming increasingly brazen.”

MN Tiwari , DCP (Outer), said that police arrested two men, Hari Prasad Lakra and Joginder Lakra, and registered a case under the Indian Penal Code, invoking Section 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty).

A BSES spokesperson said that Thursday’s attack was not an isolated incident. “The efforts of discom teams to curb irregularities are often thwarted by groups that function like organised gangs,” he said. “Whenever our teams reach these ‘sensitive’ areas, unscrupulous elements gherao them and obstruct their work. Power theft has taken shape of organised crime and active police support is needed to curb this menace.”

Despite intensive efforts to reduce electricity theft in many parts of the capital, the problem continues to have a big effect on the distribution of power, with the discoms recording losses of up to 40% of supply. In the last two years, in Mundka alone, around 450 cases of power theft with a connected load of around 1200 KW were unearthed, a BSES official said.

In the last financial year, more than 10,000 cases were filed or settled in various forums such as Permanent Lok Adalat, National Lok Adalat and special courts. While 4,925 cases of power theft were settled by Tata Power, and just over 5,000 cases by BSES.
Over 3,800 FIRs have been registered again electricity stealers in the past four years, over 1,300 arrests made and around 600 people convicted, officials pointed out.
For BSES, the major problem areas are Najafgargh, Jaffarpur, Mundka, Karawal Nagar, Seelampur, Mandawali, Nand Nagri, Turkman Gate, Yamuna Vihar and Daryaganj, Dallupura, Old Seelampur, Khichripur, Shastri Park, Baljeet Nagar, Sabhapur village, Badarpur, Jahangirpuri, Wazirabad and Shaheen Bagh.
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