Minister behind bars after power rage protest

2014-06-03 19:06
Electricity pylons in Beaufort West.

Electricity pylons in Beaufort West.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New Delhi - A former finance minister of India's ruling party was behind bars on Tuesday over accusations he led 300 protesters in storming an electricity office and tying up its manager to denounce blackouts, a report said.

Yashwant Sinha and 54 co-accused were remanded in judicial custody for 14 days on assault charges by a court in eastern India after refusing to pay bail, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

The protest involving Sinha, who is also a former foreign minister, comes as new Prime Minister Narendra Modi struggles to fix endemic electricity shortages that have hindered economic growth.

Police allege that Sinha and more than 300 members of Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) invaded the office of the state electricity board in Jharkhand on Monday and then barricaded themselves inside.

Sinha, who used to represent the area in parliament, and several dozen fellow demonstrators were detained after they allegedly trussed up the general manager, said police superintendent Arvind Kumar Singh.

Sinha, who served in a previous BJP government from 1998-2002, told journalists that he had instructed the women among the protesters to bind manager Dhanesh Jha with a rope, the Press Trust of India said.

"I asked them to tie the hands of the GM as women are the worst sufferers for not getting power," the news agency quoted him as saying.

"Their children's education is also suffering."

During blackouts, women and children spend long hours at home in sweltering heat without fans. Without power at night the children cannot study.

Jha, who filed a complaint with police, said the protesters had subjected him to a "humiliating and insulting" experience.

Power rage

So-called "power-rage" protests about electricity shortages are relatively common. But this case was unusual because of Sinha's high profile and his senior status in the ruling party.

The mineral-rich but impoverished state of Jharkhand is plagued by electricity shortages while parts of India's most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, have been gripped by 12-hour blackouts in recent days as summer temperatures have soared.

Two years ago, power was cut off to hundreds of millions of Indians in one of the world's worst blackouts when grids collapsed.

Gujarat state, where Modi was chief minister for a dozen years before becoming prime minister, boasted 24-hour power.

He has vowed to fast-track stalled power projects to connect between a quarter and 40% of Indians estimated not to be linked to any electricity grid.

Read more on:    india  |  energy

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


LOL! Best outdoor girl fails

It’s not only guys who have FAIL moments! Here are some of the funniest outdoor fails where girls are the victims!


Where were you when you last felt alive?

90-year-old's incredible travels
10 facts about swimming you didn't know
Halloween night run
Exciting new zipline for Cape Town!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Save up to R2100 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at While stocks last. Shop now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Hot offer: Up to 50% off irons

Save up to 50% on all Philips irons. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


There may be some tension that is caused through social conflicts -- personal interests versus obligations. You may feel more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.