Fact-Check: True, power supply to entire village in Punjab suspended over default
Cases of electricity theft have been registered against over 100 residents of the Wandala Nasir Khan village in Sheikhupura
Updated Wednesday Oct 25 2023
Facebook posts and WhatsApp groups claim that authorities have disconnected the electricity supply to a whole village in Punjab’s Sheikhupura and registered police complaints against all its residents after detecting illegal power connections.
The claim is misleading and only partly true.
A Facebook user wrote on October 9 that a “grand operation” had been launched in the Wandala Nasir Khan village in Sheikhupura by the Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO).
“Over 250 people were caught red-handed stealing electricity,” the post went on to claim, “Those arrested have been heavily fined and seven transformers have also been removed from the village.”
The post includes pictures and videos of the purported operation.
The video has been shared over 20 times on Facebook.
Separately, text circulating on WhatsApp groups allege that police complaints have been lodged against all the residents of Wandala Nasir Khan and their power supply has also been cut.
Cases of electricity theft have been registered against over 100 residents of the Wandala Nasir Khan village in Sheikhupura, but not against all the 3,500 people who live in the village, as was being claimed online.
However, it is true that the electricity to the entire village has been disconnected since October 9.
Rana Inam Ul Haq, the local assistant manager operations at LESCO, told Geo Fact Check over the phone that a first information report (FIR) has been registered against 119 people for using unlawful electricity connections.
While Kamran Naveed, an executive engineer at LESCO in Sheikhupura, told Geo Fact Check that authorities have asked the police to register FIRs against an additional 50 people in the village.
Naveed added that as of now all the power transformers in the village have been removed and the electricity supply will not be restored until the residents pay the amount of Rs10 million in pending bills.
“These [people] had turned the village into a no-go area for LESCO,” he said, “They would attack our officials whenever they went to the area.”
Malik Zaman, the local revenue official, also said that FIRs had been registered against over 100 people in the village.
Furthermore, Geo Fact Check was able to obtain the three-page police complaint registered on October 11, which further confirmed that 119 people were booked for stealing electricity from the village.
With additional reporting by Fayyaz Hussain.
Follow us on @GeoFactCheck. If our readers detect any errors, we encourage them to contact us at [email protected]