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Now, PSEB official assaulted
Had launched drive against power theft
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 22
Coming close on the heels of the vicious assault on a revenue official in Ludhiana, about a dozen unidentified youths today attacked Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) Additional Superintending Engineer (west division) Amarjit Singh with hockey sticks and baseball bats in full public view when he was going to his office in his official jeep. His fault: He had launched an intensive drive against power theft during the course of which he had disconnected electricity connections of certain influential persons.

Amarjit’s vehicle was badly damaged during the attack with driver Mehnga Singh sustaining minor injuries. The culprits later fled from the scene on their motorbikes in the absence of the police there. The PSEB official was rushed to Escort Hospital with head injuries and then shifted to the Civil Hospital where his condition is stated to be out of danger.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal asked District Magistrate Kahan Singh Pannu to ensure full security to the injured official in the hospital as well at his home in Silver Estate.

Talking to The Tribune, the Deputy Commissioner said Amarjit appeared to have been targeted for being honest and strict. “He had initiated a drive against power theft and disconnected many connections, including that of an engineering college, in the border belt,” he added.

The attack on a senior PSEB official seems to have terrified government officials. Speaking to The Tribune, PSEB Engineers Association joint secretary Jagjit Singh Suchu warned that the state would plunge into “darkness” if adequate security was not provided to engineers who had been checking power thefts against all odds. He said some influential persons were drawing “unauthorised” power that led to frequent power-cuts in the state. He said it was a matter of shock that the culprits could not be arrested by the police though the official was attacked at 9.30 am.

The DC said the Chief Minister had directed him that the PSEB official was given proper and free treatment. He said an employee of the PSEB who was pulled up by the Additional SE had also been rounded up by the police for questioning. The police has registered an FIR against unidentified persons.

The PSEB Engineers Association has threatened to launch an agitation if the culprits are not arrested.

The Verka police has arrested Harpreet Singh, an employee of the PSEB, in connection with the assault.

Meanwhile, a Junior Engineer, PSEB, identified as Satish Kumar posted at Gheo Mandi, subdivision was allegedly thrashed by Jagdish Singh of the Bagh Ramanand area over power cut. The police has registered a case against Jadish, who has been arrested.

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