A junior engineer of Utretia power station was held hostage by people here late Wednesday. They were protesting the long power cuts, most of which, the residents said, were unscheduled.

The angry residents also resorted to violence for over an hour. Police had to be called in to disperse them. Similar reports trickled in from different parts of the state as angry locals took to streets protesting the power cuts.

The situation was further aggravated by low voltages at many places in the state capital, now represented in parliament by BJP president and Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

Angry people raised slogans against the state's Akhilesh Yadav government. They also turned their ire on Rajnath Singh for not doing anything so far.

In a related development, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has sought answers from the state government on discrimination in power supply to various districts.

A vacation bench of Justice Imtiaz Murtaza and Justice Shashikant Wednesday sought answers from the government on the preferential treatment to certain districts.

The state government has ordered uninterrupted, round-the-clock power supply to Varanasi (Prime Minister Narendra Modi's parliamentary constituency), Mainpuri and Azamgarh (both parliamentary constituencies of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav), Rampur (native place of minister Azam Khan), and Kannauj (parliamentary constituency of Dimple Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav's wife).

The high court bench asked the state government to respond within four weeks on the issue raised through a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a group of lawyers and an NGO.

(Agencies)

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