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Don't vandalise telecom towers, farmers' leaders appeal from Delhi
Chandigarh, December 29, 2020
With more than 1,500 mobile phone towers having been vandalised in Punjab amid protests over the three farm laws, farmer leaders at the agitation site on the Delhi border on Tuesday appealed that these vital infrastructure should not be damaged.
Denying any role in the damaging the telecom towers, farmer leaders, in their appeal from Singhu on Delhi's border with Haryana, where their agitation entered 34th day, said the mobile tower and infrastructure of any company should not be damaged as their call was only on boycotting a company.
Reports say the protesting villagers have cut power supplies and fibre cables and damaged generators.
Krantikari Kisan Union President Dharampal said their focus of struggle was only on boycotting and nothing else.
Of the 1,561 mobile towers affected over the past few days owing to farmers' agitations, 146 were impacted on Monday due to disruption of power supply to 32 towers that led to the disconnection of services of the remaining 114.
So far, 433 towers have been repaired, a state government spokesperson said.
The state has a total of 21,306 mobile towers spread across its 22 districts.
Issuing a stern warning, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had said the vandalisation of mobile towers and disruption of telecom services won't be allowed and directed the police to take strict action against all those resorting to such unlawful activities.
Making it clear that he will not tolerate destruction of any private or public property in Punjab, he said he was forced to toughen his stance as his repeated appeals to perpetrators of such acts had been ignored.
The Chief Minister's warning came as the total number of mobile towers impacted in the state went up to 1,561, of which 25 had been physically damaged, allegedly by some farmers and their supporters in violation of the directions of the farmer unions to keep their protests against the farm laws peaceful.
Calling upon farmers and their supporters to put an immediate stop to such destructive activities, which were being disowned by farmer leaders themselves, the Chief Minister said disruption of telecom services could lead to a communications blackout in the state, causing its people, especially students and working professionals, to suffer serious consequences.