A BSES engineer died and four persons were injured on Monday as their car rammed a tree while allegedly being chased by a mob during an anti-power theft drive in south west Delhi's Jaffarpur Kalan area, a BSES spokesperson said.
The police, however, refuted the claim and said the engineer died in a suspected case of rash driving.
According to the BSES spokesperson, three discom teams raided Jhul Jhuli village in Jaffarpur Kalan this afternoon following a tip-off about large-scale power theft in the area.
The teams, accompanied by Delhi Police, came under attack and had to retreat, he said.
"The teams were chased by bike-borne goons. In the ensuing melee, one of the cars rammed a tree. Assistant engineer Abhimanyu Singh (32) was grievously injured. He later died," he said.
A senior police officer said the BSES teams were provided adequate police force for the raid which went "successfully".
"Twenty six police personnel were accompanying the BSES teams. The anti power theft drive was successful.
"One of the cars met with an accident. No one was being chased as per initial reports," said the officer.
A case has been registered in the matter, he said, adding the four injured BSES team members have been admitted to a hospital.
In June this year, a Delhi Police sub-inspector and three BSES employees were injured in stone-pelting by locals during an anti-power theft drive in outer Delhi's Ranhola area.
"These are not isolated incidents. Efforts of discom teams to check irregularities are often thwarted by law-defying people who function like organised gangs. Power theft has taken shape of an organised crime and active police support is needed to curb this menace," said the BSES spokesperson.
Despite intensive efforts to reduce power theft, Jaffarpur continues to incur 60 per cent losses, he said.
In the last five years, around 14,000 cases of power theft, having a connected load of around 33,000 KW, have been unearthed in the area, the spokesman added.