Chandigarh, December 28: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday directed police to take action against those vandalising mobile towers in the state. More than 1,500 telecom towers have been damaged in Punjab in support of the ongoing protest by farmers, affecting telecom services in parts of the state. The protesting farmers want the Centre to rollback the three new farm laws.
On December 25, Punjab Chief Minister's Office had appealed to farmers not to disrupt telecom services in the state. The CMO had tweeted: "Chief Minister @capt_amarinderSingh appeals to farmers not to disrupt state's telecom services & inconvenience citizens. Chief Minister urges them to show same restraint & discipline as they'd been exercising at Delhi border." BJP, Opposition Target Each Other as Stir Against Agri Laws Enters Second Month.
Despite the appeal, the protesting farmers and their supporters continued to disrupt telecom services. In one such incident, locals in Tibbi Kalan in Punjab's Firozpur vandalised a telecom tower to express their support towards farmers protesting against the three farm bills. In another incident, the generator at a tower site was physically taken away and allegedly donated to a local gurudwara.
Mobile Tower Vandalised in Punjab in Support of Farmers' Protest:
— ANI (@ANI) December 28, 2020
"Till yesterday, 1,411 towers were damaged and today the count has gone well past 1,500," a source told news agency PTI. In Jalandhar, some bundles of Jio's fibre cable were also burnt. Jio has 9,000 plus towers in the state. The protesting farmers are cutting power supply to towers or their cable wires, disrupting telecom signals in several parts of the state.
By doing so, the farmers are expressing their anger on the infrastructure owned by billionaire Mukesh Ambani's firm Jio as they saw him along with infrastructure tycoon Gautam Adani as major beneficiaries of the new laws.