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Captain Amarinder Singh urges farmers not to disrupt state’s telecom services

He requested the farmers to reciprocate by ensuring that the battle for justice does not cause any problems for the people of the state.

Amid reports of disconnection of power supply to various mobile towers across the state, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday appealed to protesting farmers not to inconvenience people with such actions but “to continue to exercise the same restraint as they had been showing over the past several months of their agitation”.

Pointing out that telecom connectivity had become even more critical for people amid the COVID pandemic, the Chief Minister urged the farmers to show the same discipline and sense of responsibility which they had been exercising during their protest on the Delhi border, which has completed one month, and also earlier during their agitation in the state.

Urging the farmers not to take the law in their hands by forcibly shutting down telecom connectivity or manhandling employees or technicians of telecom service providers, the Chief Minister said such actions were not in the interest of Punjab and its future. He said the people of Punjab had been standing with the farmers in their fight against the “black farm laws” and would continue to do so.

He requested the farmers to reciprocate by ensuring that the battle for justice does not cause any problems for the people of the state.

According to an official release, the Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said that forceful disruption of telecom services due to snapping of power supply to mobile towers by farmers in several parts of the state was not only adversely affecting the studies and future prospects of students, who are dependent entirely on online education, but also hampering the daily life of people working from home due to the pandemic.

The disruption of telecom services would also seriously affect the state’s already disturbed economy, he noted, exhorting the farmers to continue with their peaceful protests without causing any inconvenience to the citizens of Punjab.

Captain Amarinder Singh urges farmers not to disrupt state's telecom services - Digpu

Captain Amarinder Singh pointed out that the prolonged economic crisis, which would be aggravated as a result of telecom service disruption in the state, would have a trigger-effect on the agriculture sector, as well as the farming community too.

The effects would be detrimental to all sections, he said, adding that such actions would adversely impact his government’s efforts to attract more investment in the telecom sector as part of its recently announced New Telecom Guidelines 2020, which was also aimed at improving telecom connectivity in the state.

In the wake of COVID-19, the urgency of these guidelines was felt seriously as there was dire need to improve connectivity through easing Right of Way permissions for overground and underground telecom infrastructures, the release said, adding that the guidelines were expected to give a quantum jump to the telecom and internet connectivity in the state.

Punjab is one of the states with the highest telecom density, the release said.

Farmers protesting against the three farm laws in Mansa in Punjab have shut the power supply to several Reliance Jio towers in the town, disrupting services in parts of the state.

The Chief Minister’s appeal came in the wake of a request from the Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA), a registered body of telecom infrastructure providers, asking the state government to persuade the farmers not to resort to any unlawful activity in their fight for justice.

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Kunwar Devender Singh

Kunwar is a passionate writer, philanthropist and a social worker. He is the founder of Brave Hearts (India's First Crisis Helpline for Indian Armed Forces), Digpu News Network, Save Earth and Digital Punch.

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