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Electricity office ransacked after local dies trying to remove electrical hooking

Kolkata: An office of the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (WBSEDCL) in South 24 Parganas' Diamond Harbour was ransacked and two vehicles parked outside were set on fire by an irate mob after a villager died while removing an electrical hooking.
Some of the employees of the WBSEDCL including two officials have been injured when the furious mob attacked them on Tuesday afternoon. Police had to resort to lathi-charge to disperse the mob. A police picket has been set up in the area as tension grew.
State Power minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay called the incident "unfortunate and uncalled for". He, however, clarified that none of the WBSEDCL employees were involved in the death of the villager who was electrocuted while removing the electrical hooking.
The WBSEDCL has been carrying out a drive to check the power theft in the area for the past few days. Work was going on in some parts to check hooking. The victim whose identity is yet to be ascertained had been electrocuted while trying to remove an electrical hooking in fear of being caught. As the news spread, the locals became infuriated and attacked the employees of the WBSEDCL. They also ransacked the office, broke the furniture and windowpanes. Two vehicles which were parked outside the office were set on fire. A fire tender was pressed into action to douse the flames. After being informed, a huge contingent of police rushed to the spot to bring the situation under control. They had to resort to
lathi-charge to clear the mob.
There were previous instances where the WBSEDCL employees had been roughed up while carrying out a drive against the hooking. To check such incidents, the state power department has conducted awareness programmes among the villagers. They were also told that the department is providing a new connection within a minimum possible amount. The department also urged not to indulge in malpractices.
The minister also added that a cabling work was going on for sometime at Kalagachia area of Sarisa to check incidents of power thefts. When the drive was going on in the area, one villager tried to remove a hooking in fear of being caught and was electrocuted.
"We have held a number of meetings with the local administration to make people aware against power thefts. Our department also urged people to get a connection as the Mamata Banerjee government has been giving a subsidy of Rs 794 crore for those consumers availing electricity up to 300 unit. The Chief Minister had also given a clear instruction that the price of electricity would not be raised," Chattopadhyay said.
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