Kejriwal, others burn power bills in Delhi

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New Delhi – Arvind Kejriwal and other members of India Against Corruption (IAC) staged protests across the capital Sunday by burning electricity bills and also restored power connections of two households, a day after they launched ‘bijli-paani satyagraha’.

They also visited the house of a person who died of heart attack after being threatened by private power distribution company (discom) officials to pay chalan (fine) of Rs.1 lakh during a raid at his house suspecting power theft.

IAC Saturday launched the ‘bijli-paani satyagraha’ to protest against alleged inflated power and water bills by restoring a household’s power connection in south Delhi’s Tigri colony that had been cut for the non-payment of a bill that ran into thousands of rupees.

“People in 62 assemblies and 114 wards in Delhi burnt their electricity bills during protest against the steep hike in electricity tariff,” IAC said in a statement Sunday.

Besides Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Gopal Rai and Kumar Vishwas also joined people and protested by burning bills in Bawana, Mukherjee Nagar, Mahipalpur and Laxmi Nagar.

On Monday, they will protest outside Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) office in south Delhi.

Kejriwal’s protest began with the visit to the house of Kailash Chand, 65, who died of a heart attack following a raid at his house in Najafgarh.

Kejriwal said that Chand had an electricity bill of very low amount due to which officials suspected him of committing power theft.

“Even though he had paid his bill, the officials entered his house through back door and cut off his power supply. They also threatened him saying that he will have to pay Rs.1 lakh chalan for stealing electricity,” Kejriwal alleged.

However, discom officials claimed that the electricity meter was found by-passed and a power theft of around 5 KW (kilowatt) was detected at the premises of Chand. They said they have photographs and video recording of the way the meter was by-passed.

Chand’s wife Bimla alleged that four people entered their house, had an argument and manhandled her husband.

A day after restoring power in Tigri colony, Kejriwal, with other IAC members Sunday went to a J.J. Colony in Bawana where in his supervision people restored power connection of two households whose connection was snapped due to non-payment of dues.

“IAC members Sunday asked Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit that if she will not roll back the electricity hike before Nov 3, they will protest again on Nov 4 and ‘gherao’ her residence,” says an IAC statement.

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