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Power, water run low as heat wave hits much of India; angry citizens set fire, take hostages

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    An Indian man bathes as a woman prepares to wash clothes at a lake on a hot afternoon in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, May 22, 2013. The capital city has been reeling under a heat wave with temperature crossing 44 degree Celsius (112 Fahrenheit) on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) (The Associated Press)

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    Indian women wade in a lake on a hot afternoon in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, May 22, 2013. The capital city has been reeling under a heat wave with temperature crossing 44 degrees Celsius (112 Fahrenheit) on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) (The Associated Press)

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    A young boy walks back carrying containers filled with drinking water from a community tap at a slum cluster in New Delhi, India , Wednesday, May 22, 2013. Water scarcity in the scorching summer is a common sight in India and sometimes people have to walk long distances to fetch water. (AP Photo/ Saurabh Das) (The Associated Press)

A blistering heat wave has caused massive power cuts and water shortages across much of north and western India, and some people are taking to the streets to express their anger with the government.

Enraged citizens in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh have set fire to a fire station and held power company employees hostage for several hours. Police there said Thursday that at least 21 people have been arrested for damaging government property.

Uttar Pradesh, home to 190 million people, is India's most populous state and one of the poorest. Its inadequate power infrastructure has been unable to meet high demand as temperatures have peaked above 47 degrees Celsius (116 degrees Fahrenheit) in recent days.