Power theft raids in Uttar Pradesh villages, farmers say ‘targeted’ for Delhi protests | Meerut News – Times of India

MEERUT: Around 9am on Thursday, vigilance teams from the UP power corporation swooped down on houses in Jainpur and Kanchanpur villages in Meerut district.
They were using ‘katiya’, wires drawing electricity illegally from power lines, to steal, the officials said. But farmer leaders in the area said all houses chosen had one thing in common — at least one member of the household had been part of the farmers’ protest in Delhi.
“Rural areas like Jainpur and Kanchanpur sent hundreds of protesters to Delhi. Almost every house in these villages has been associated with the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) and raising its voice against the farm laws,” president of Meerut’s BKU unit Manoj Tyagi told TOI. “These raids are an attempt to threaten farmers. It is a conspiracy. But we will not let this hold us back. We will launch a state-wide agitation if this continues.” BKU is among prominent farmer bodies spearheading the Delhi protest.
The raids, which went on till noon, coincide with the farmers’ protest in Delhi taking their stir a notch up with protests at Jantar Mantar, where about 200 farmers converged on Thursday. After eight months at three Delhi borders — Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri — they gathered near the Parliament, where the Monsoon session is on, demanding that the new farm laws be scrapped.
One of those actively involved with the protests in Delhi is sugarcane farmer Vijender Singh (name changed on request), 75, from Kanchanpur. His house was among those raided. “The government does not want farmers to raise their voices. This is an attempt to silence us. What happened today was targeted harassment,” he told TOI.
The power corporation, Pashchimanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam (PVVNL), denied any “motivation” behind the raids. PVVNL senior engineer (rural) AK Singh said, “It was not planned. It was not a conspiracy. Such raids happen after our local intelligence units tip us off about power theft. In these villages, there are about 700 power connections. And 42 households were found using ‘katiya’. We have made video recordings.”

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