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Power riots erupt in Delhi, Gurgaon

Tired of long and frequent power cuts, people in the Capital and Gurgaon take to the streets attacking offices of power utilities, report Moushumi Das Gupta and SK Ahuja.
By Moushumi Das Gupta and Sanjeev K Ahuja | Hindustan Times, New Delhi\gurgaon
UPDATED ON MAY 07, 2008 09:24 AM IST

People have had enough. Tired of long and frequent power cuts and false promises of improvement, people in the Capital and Gurgaon took to the streets attacking offices of power utilities on Tuesday.

After waiting eight hours without electricity early on Tuesday, residents of Mukherjee Nagar in north Delhi gathered in a mob outside the main zonal office of the power utility NDPL and stoned the facility. However, no one was injured.

They were back at the office later in the evening. The National Capital Region’s first power riots have taken place and there is not much the power utilities can do except file police cases or run away. In some cases, there is retaliation, too.

Just outside the city limits, patience snapped in Badshahpur, a Gurgaon village, after 15 hours without electricity. The
villagers stormed the local electricity office, beat the staff on duty and damaged equipment in use.

Following the rioting, the Haryana power transmission company retaliated by shutting down six sub stations plunging more than half the city into darkness — DLF City, Sushant Lok, South City, most of the HUDA Sectors and Udyog Vihar.

The Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam (HVPN) had been expecting trouble. And had sought police protection for its facilities in January itself. But because of the paucity of police personnel, the request was not met, said HVPN general manager Raghuvir Sharan.

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