Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday directed the police to take strict action against those resorting to vandalisation of mobile towers and disruption of telecom services in the State.
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 farmers’ unions to keep their protests against the Centre’s farm laws peaceful.
The Chief Minister asserted that he will not let Punjab plunge into anarchy and nobody can be allowed to take the law into their hands. Pointing out that his government had not objected to or stopped peaceful protests in the State against the farm laws for the past several months, he said that damage to property and inconvenience to citizens could not, however, be endured.
Calling upon farmers and their supporters to put an immediate stop to such destructive activities, which were being disowned by farmers’ leaders themselves, the Chief Minister said disruption of telecom services could lead to a communications blackout in the State, causing serious consequences for people, especially students and working professionals.
Of the 1,561 towers affected over the past few days, 146 have been damaged since Monday morning due to disruption of power supply to 32 towers, which led to disconnection of services of the remaining 114. So far, 433 towers have been repaired, according to an official spokesperson. The State has a total of 21,306 mobile towers spread across 22 districts.