Amidst the ongoing agitation against the historic farm laws, ‘protesting farmers’ in Punjab were seen stealing generators connected to Reliance Jio telecom towers, and ‘donating’ it to a Gurudwara.
In a video that has now gone viral on social media, protestors were seen dragging a generator set on a tractor to the gurdwara after dislodging it from the Jio Tower. The other protestors were seen following the tractor on its way to the Gurdwara. The video has now gone viral on social media.
The ‘protestors’ have been targeting Reliance Jio towers because Congress politicians have been spreading rumours and misinformation that “Ambani and Adani are about to exploit farmers”. Earlier, the protestors at Delhi border were seen urging people not to use Jio sim.
Captain Amarinder Singh appeals to protestors
While the Congress party has been a vocal supporter of the anti-farm law agitation and has remained a mute spectator to the inconvenience caused to the public over the last few months, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had a sudden ‘change of heart‘ on Friday. The Punjab government, realising the dangerous situation, appealed to the protestors to not disrupt connections or manhandle employees and technicians of telecom companies.
Protestors destroy 150 telecom towers
Despite Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s appeal, the ‘protesting farmers’ have destroyed 150 more telecom towers overnight on Saturday and Sunday alone. This takes the total number of telecom towers damaged to 1,388. News agency PTI citing sources said that site managers were slapped and abused for trying to stop the protestors from destroying the infrastructure.
Power lines are snapped and attempts to axe towers were undertaken by the ‘protesting farmers’. The attacks have impacted telecom services and operators who are struggling to maintain services in absence of action by the state police, the report said.
It is notable that at present, telecom operators do not own the towers where their antennas are placed. The towers are owned and operated by separate tower companies, and telecom companies place their antennas on the towers by paying rent for the same. Due to this arrangement, a single tower may contain antennas of several mobile phone companies. Therefore, although the protestors are targeting Jio, they may accidentally damage telecom operations of other companies also as they share resources on the towers.