Farmers in Punjab vent anger against Reliance Jio, over 1500 towers damaged so far
As per media reports, 200 mobile towers are being damaged on a daily basis despite an appeal to the protesting farmers by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to not indulge in such vandalism
Venting their ire against billionaire Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance group, which is perceived as a beneficiary of the recently-enacted farm laws, farmers and their kin in Punjab have allegedly damaged hundreds of Reliance Jio mobile towers so far, with more than 176 signal transmitting sites being vandalised in 24 hours on Sunday alone.
In the last three days, the number of mobile towers damaged has doubled. On December 25, the number of towers damaged was 700. Within three days, the number has increased to 1,504, as per media reports. 200 mobile towers are reportedly being damaged on a daily basis in the state despite an appeal to the protesting farmers by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to not indulge in such vandalism. On Monday, he even asked police to take strict action against those who damage mobile towers in the state.
Incidents of snapping of power lines to attempts to axe the towers have been reported from different parts of Punjab. Site managers are reportedly slapped and abused for trying to persuade protestors from damaging sites.
There are around 9,000 towers of Jio in Punjab. For some towers, the fibre has been cut by such groups. Some bundles of Jio's fibre cable have been burnt in Jalandhar, while videos of Jio employees being threatened and forced to flee have been widely circulated on social media.
The vandalism of mobile towers has impacted telecom services across the state, especially Reliance Jio.
The farmers’ unions have, however, distanced themselves from the vandalism and have appealed to the protesters to stay away from such acts that cause inconvenience to the masses.
The farmers protesting against the new farm laws had given a call on December 9 for boycotting products of Reliance Industries and Adani Group, as by National Herald, when farmers’ leaders had rejected a proposal sent by the government offering a written assurance on minimum support prices (MSP). The union leaders had said farmers across the nation would boycott all products of Adani Ltd and Reliance Industries Limited, including the highly-used Jio mobile SIM cards.
Published: 29 Dec 2020, 12:33 PM