Agitating farmers and supporting groups in Punjab have targeted the telecom towers of Reliance Jio in the state, thus disrupting mobile and internet services of the company and causing inconvenience to the consumers.
According to industry sources, agitating groups have cut off power supply of around 1,300 mobile towers of Jio in the state. There are around 9,000 towers of Jio in Punjab. For some towers, the fibre has been cut by such groups.
As is known, the state’s farmers are protesting against new farm laws and are adamant that the central government repeal them. In the process they also gave a call for boycotting products of Reliance Industries’ and Adani Group.
Industry sources said that if the farmers want to boycott product and do not buy Jio SIMs or give up their existing Jio connections, it is fine as a sign of peaceful protest but bringing destruction to assets of the company cannot be seen as a sign of peaceful protest.
The situation has indeed become critical and on December 25, according to a PTI report, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh also appealed to the farmer groups to not inconvenience the general public with such actions. He urged them to exercise the same restraint that they had been showing over the past several months and said that telecom connectivity had become even more critical for people amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Singh’s appeal had come in the wake of a request from the Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA), a registered body of telecom infrastructure providers, asking the state government to persuade farmers not to resort to any unlawful activity in their fight against the farm laws.
Urging farmers not to take the law into their hands by forcibly shutting down telecom connectivity or manhandling employees and technicians of telecom service providers, the chief minister had said such actions were not in the interest of Punjab and its future.
“Forceful disruption of telecom services due to snapping of power supply to mobile towers by farmers in several parts of the state is not only adversely affecting the studies and future prospects of students, who are dependent entirely on online education, but also hampering the daily life of people working from home due to the pandemic,” Singh had said.
“Further, the disruption of telecom services would also seriously affect the state’s already disturbed economy,” the chief minister had said.