Punjab CM's appeal fails to stop damages to telecom towers; 176 more damaged

Punjab CMs appeal fails to stop damages to telecom towers; 176 more damaged

Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh's appeal to protesting farmers to not damage telecom infrastructure seems to have failed to deter new attacks, with more than 176 signal transmitting sites being vandalised in the last 24 hours, sources said on Sunday. While firms belonging to billionaires Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani do not procure foodgrains from farmers, the narrative that new farm laws are to benefit them has made them easy targets, with protesting farmers in different places in Punjab having vandalised and damaged Reliance Jio towers, snapping connectivity.

As many as 176 towers have been damaged since Saturday, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

This has taken the total number of ?telecom tower sites damaged to 1,411, they said.

Incidents of snapping of power lines to attempts to axe the towers have been reported from different parts of Punjab, one of the sources said.

"Site managers are slapped and abused for trying to persuade protestors from damaging sites," he said.

The second source said the telecom towers damaged belong to Jio and common access infrastructure of telecom industry. The attacks have impacted telecom services and operators are struggling to maintain services in absence of action by law enforcement agencies, the source said.

The Punjab chief minister had on Friday appealed protesting farmers to not cause inconvenience to the general public with such actions and continue to exercise the same restraint as they had shown over the past several months of their agitation.

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