With its telecom infrastructure in the state being damaged during farmers' protest, Reliance Jio has written to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh seeking his intervention for action against those responsible for the incidents of "sabotage and vandalism".
In a letter to the chief minister, Jio flagged the acts of sabotage and vandalism at its network sites "by unknown persons in the disguise of ongoing farmers agitation".
It alleged that the damage being inflicted is "deliberate" in nature with "ulterior motives and clear intent" of causing maximum disruption to the company's infrastructure and services. "We humbly request for your kind intervention by a direction from your good office to the district administration to take action against the miscreants who caused this damage, and prevention of any further damage as apart from losses to the infrastructure, people of Punjab are suffering because their life is getting impacted severely in carrying out their day to day activity, education, business, study etc," Jio said in the letter to Amarinder on December 27.
The letter said that those involved in incidents of sabotage and vandalization were even posting the videos and pictures on social media as if "boasting of their acts." "…now situation has worsened to the extent that many persons are openly moving and damaging our sites with weapons, posing a threat and risk not only to the telecom infrastructure but also to the life of thousands of our direct and indirect employees," said the letter written by Tajinder Pal Singh Walia, State Head - Reliance Jio Infocomm, Punjab Circle. Jio said that such is the extent of fear and threats looming in the environment that its own employees are being forced to get out of offices.
"Across Punjab, we have approximately 250 Jio offices and showrooms, but our employees are not being allowed to enter their own office which is causing a feeling of scare and insecurity and risk of employment and earning livelihood to them," said the letter seen by PTI. A mail sent to Reliance Jio on the issue did not elicit a response.
Meanwhile, Jio's letter further claimed that "as per local inputs from field, such activities are likely to be intensified tremendously resulting in many more such acts of sabotages at other critical network locations". Urging the state authorities to safeguard the telecom infrastructure, connectivity and services, the company has also sought police protection for its employees for timely repair and restoration of the sites which have already been damaged.
Reliance Industries has invested more than Rs 20,000 crore in building telecom infrastructure across all the 22 districts, tehsils, sub-tehsils and over 12,000 villages, as well as in hundreds of retail showrooms, it said. More than 1,500 telecom towers in Punjab have been damaged during the farmers' protest against the three new farm laws.
Asserting that he will not let Punjab plunge into anarchy at any cost and nobody can be allowed to take the law into their hands, the chief minister had said he has been forced to toughen his stance as his repeated appeals to perpetrators of such acts had been ignored.Disclosure: News18.com is part of Network18 Media & Investment Limited which is owned by Reliance Industries Limited that also owns Reliance Jio