KARACHI - Karachi Electric Supply Company has strongly condemned blatant theft of extra high tension conductor from KDA-Johar transmission lines by armed copper wire thieves in the wee hours of Independence Day and demanded full scale crackdown against the culprits.KESC said that the unknown thieves had disconnected the 132,000 volt transmission circuit between towers No 5 and 6 passing through Afghan Basti, Madina Colony, near Gulistan-e-Jauhar and cut down half span of copper conductor. KESC’s security team moved swiftly on the location and confronted the gangsters. Instead of running away, the thieves opened fire upon the KESC security personnel. After heavy exchange of gunshots, the thieves disappeared into the nearby unauthorised settlements. KESC has lodged an FIR with Sachal Police Station.The company said that the August 14 incident was the latest of an unending series of copper wire thefts. Earlier on August 12, some unknown thieves had stolen a span of extra high tension copper conductor from the Malir-Gadap Transmission Line at Gujjar Point after disconnecting extra high tension lines running 66,000 volt of electricity, tripping the power transmission.Copper wire theft had not only been causing colossal financial loss to KESC but also was disrupting power supply to consumers. These incidents had the backing of powerful and organized criminals and KESC had alerted the State security about it a number times. From the nature of wire cut on the spot, it was obvious that the thieves were fully trained since they had used the right equipment to disconnect extra high tension electricity transmission lines.KESC had already identified involvement of junk dealers who bought and sold copper conductors and also dealt in all other sorts of hard core crimes. Unfortunately, the security apparatus of the government has yet to take stringent and concrete measures to eradicate the menace.The company pointed out that the wire thieves belonged to fully armed and well-structured large groups of criminals and it was not possible for the power utility to engage with them in gun battles. Therefore, it was a responsibility of the State security agencies to provide adequate protection to the KESC assets and installations against such big criminals and take necessary steps to block their continued criminal activities.