In a chronically power deficient state like Assam with a serious problem of power pilferage, ASEB officials should have no doubts about their duty to bring power thieves to book. But after the jolt an ASEB official in gaon sub-division got recently, other departmental officials will think many times before discharging such a risky duty. The official in question had been very active against meter tampering and power thieves, booking over 50 offenders in gaon town and recovering about Rs 30 lakh for the government through pelties collected. But the reward he got for his pains was the police swooping down at night to throw him unceremoniously into lock-up. Threatening a blackout, incensed co-workers besieged the gaon Sadar police station to demand the official’s release. The police are said to have claimed that the official had posted a status on WhatsApp that cast aspersions on the Power minister. However, protesting ASEB workers alleged that two offending institutions the arrested official had booked are owned by relatives of the Power minister, so this was a blatant case of ‘political conspiracy’. The standoff ended after the official was released on bail. But this latest incident is yet another reiteration of a stern message to officialdom — beware of whom you catch, for you may end up rubbing some powers-be the wrong way!
Jolt to power official