LUCKNOW, India (AP) -- A blistering heat wave has swept across most parts of north and western India, causing massive electricity cuts and leading angry residents to protest and even attack power company officials and property.
In the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, enraged citizens have set fire to a power station and held power company employees hostage for several hours. Police said Thursday that at least 21 people have been arrested for the violence and for damaging government property.
Uttar Pradesh, home to 190 million people, is India's most populous state and one of the poorest. Its inadequate energy infrastructure has been unable to cope with the high demand for electricity as temperatures have peaked above 116 degrees Fahrenheit (47 degrees Celsius) in recent days.
The power shortages have left people without air conditioning or fans -- and in some cases without water, as electric pumps failed -- for hours each day.