17 persons convicted of power theft sent to Jail

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CE appeals media to be supportive and ethical
IMPHAL Jan 25:  The drive of the Electricity Department for disconnection of defaulters and unauthorized consumers entered the second day and power lines of 76 defaulters were cut and 46 customers forked out dues amounting to Rs 3, 91,431 which were paid at the site. Two persons were arrested for power theft in the said drive which was carried out at Uripok Chakrikomi, Nagamapal , Lai Ishing Chaibi , Loklaobung and Khurai Lamlong Bazar today.
Further, 17 persons arrested for power theft in the drive conducted yesterday are convicted and have been sent to jail.
Chief Engineer of the Electricity Department N Sarat talking to IFP voiced the need from the state media to support the drive taken up for overall benefit of the public. He said that the media should refrain from sensationalizing the issue and also from falsely propagating the drive. The CE was referring to a news item, which appeared in a local newspaper which had implicated the department for human rights abuse by photographing a girl in lieu of her missing parents charged with power theft.
“We have taken photos of all the disconnected and defaulted consumers, the girl was not singled out and the photo was taken to establish witness only. There is no question of ridiculing her or anybody else for the matter , this is normal procedure and done so if the consumer wants a reconnection after paying the fines, besides the nameplate that the girl was seen holding was written in the name of her mother and not hers ”, N Sarat said.
The CE has appealed to the media to be ethical and to support the drive.
Seconding the CE’s statement Superintending Engineer of Electrical Circle Number 1 , Kh Khamba said “Being unauthorized consumers , they have to be  booked  for judicial purposes ,the process require photographic evidence and seizure memo which are purely for confidential official records and can not be disclosed or published. The photo of the girl published in the media is unauthorized and is a breach of privacy of the individual, such reports from the media is discouraging”. He further stated that taking photographic evidence of a person in front of the residence is common practice to identify the consumer.
Moreover, the power bills of all government departments have been paid in full and there are no outstanding dues at present, there was a liability of more than 20 crores but the amount has been deducted from the state exchequer, he added.

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