| Strange complaint: Parari residents show copies of the complaint lodged against them. Picture by Sanjay Choudhary |
Surprising it maybe, dead men are stealing electricity in the state. The electricity department has lodged a named FIR in Rohtas district, around 150km west of Patna, for stealing electricity for long and subsequently penalised for the offence.
Shivsagar police station house officer Abhinandan Kumar Singh was taken aback when he visited Parari village on Saturday to inquire into the case (No. 107/13), which was lodged on the statement of electricity department junior engineer Ajay Kumar Singh on August 22.
Ajay, in a written complaint submitted to the police station, said he visited the Parari village under the jurisdiction of Chenari electric supply division on August 22 with four other employees and found Singhasan Choudhary and Ram Nagina Singh of consuming power without any authorised power connection.
Both Singhasan and Ram Nagina were made accused under Section 135 of the Electricity Act, 2003. “Since the section under which the accused were booked is non-bailable, I thought it better to personally look into the matter,” Abhinandan said. Besides Singhasan and Ram Nagina, five others were made accused in the case. The complainant had also imposed a fine of Rs 11,000 each on the two dead persons for theft of power.
The SHO said the relatives of the two dead persons also gave him copies of death certificates issued by the panchayat sevak concerned to substantiate their claims. According to the death certificates, Singhasan died in January 2000, while Ram Nagina passed away in February 2004.
Ram Nagina’s brother, Mithilesh Kumar, told the police that the electricity department’s move cruelly reminded the family of the accident in which his 45-year-old brother had died.
Singhasan’s son Munna Kumar said: “Had the electricity department’s team visited the spot, it would have certainly come across the fact.”
Md Helal Ahmad, the electricity department superintending engineer, said the families would get reprieve had they approached the sub-divisional officer concerned. “Even if this is true, necessary corrections should be done by the officer concerned at the earliest,” he said.
Ahmad, however, kept mum over any disciplinary action initiated against the erring junior engineer. Sub-divisional officer (electricity) Rahul Kumar could not be contacted for his comments despite repeated attempts.
Parari panchayat head Gopal Ram said usually the electricity department officials informed the mukhiyas about surprise raids. “But so far as the Parari incident is concerned, I have no information about any raid,” he added.
SHO Kumar said such faux pass often landed the police personnel in trouble. “Police teams have to face the wrath of the local residents for erroneous action initiated by the officials of other departments,” he added.