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Raiding power officials’ team held hostage in Karnal village; 26 booked

Three-hour drama: Two junior engineers, three linemen and three police personnel reportedly caught a resident stealing power at 5am; villagers claim officials enter houses through the roof.

india Updated: May 29, 2018 10:56 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Karnal
power officials’ team held hostage,govt officials held hotage,Karnal
Officials of the raiding team locked up at the Panchayat Bhawan in Shekhpura Jagir village in Karnal on Monday. (HT Photo)

Residents of Shekhpura Jagir village in the district held eight government officials, a raiding team of the state’s power department, hostage at the Panchayat Bhawan in the village for three hours on Monday morning.

Two junior engineers, three linemen and three police personnel were part of the team and the villagers overpowered all of them. Police have booked 26 people in connection with the incident.

Villagers claimed that the team, from the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited, arrived for the raid at 4am and conducted a search in some houses. They also alleged that they were also upset as the power utility never listened to their complaints, but was quick to conduct such raids.

Police party rescue raiders

The local police, who reached the spot and pacified the villagers, said power department officials claimed that they had caught a village resident, Satnam Singh, while stealing power at 5am.

“The villagers, however, got upset. Soon, the situation turned into a brawl. Our mobile phones and camera was snatched. We were manhandled and locked up in the Panchayat Bhawan. Somehow, our office informed the police and we were rescued,” said a lineman Jagmal Singh.

‘Official misbehave, conduct raid at 4am’

The villagers, however, claimed that officials had misbehaved with them and disturbed their privacy by raids that were often conducted in the early hours, even 4am, as on Monday. “During a raid, they enter our houses from the roof and disturb our children and women. There is no privacy,” Rajesh Kumar, a villager claimed.

He added, “Our panchayat had given 40 acres for a power house free of cost as the government promised to provide uninterrupted power supply. We continue to face power cuts and the same officials never even respond to our phone calls.”

Karnal Sadar Police station in-charge, Harjinder Singh, said, “Investigation is on and 26 people, including Chamel Singh, Gaurav, Surender Sangwa, Shil, Om Prakash and Pankaj, were booked under section 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon, 149 (unlawful assembly guilty of offence), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to government servants to deter them from duty), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of duty) of the Indian Penal Code.”

First Published: May 29, 2018 10:56 IST