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Opinion | China and Its Proxy Pak's Involvement Can't be Ruled Out in Damaging Telecom Towers in Punjab

Representative Image: Reuters

Representative Image: Reuters

To get a 5G contract for Huawei and demoralise Jio, the sole Indian competitor, China can go to any extent.

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Maj Gen Ashwani Siwach (Retd)

More than 1,500 communication towers of Jio have been damaged in Punjab in the past few days. The basic reason for certain antisocial elements taking the law in their own hands is the three new farm laws recently introduced. There are some rumours and perception among detractors that these farm laws are likely to benefit big corporate houses like the Ambani and Adani Groups. But they are unaware that Ambani and Adani are in no way involved in the business of procurement and storage of food grains.

In fact, by damaging the communication towers, you are not only damaging national property but also creating inconvenience to the public at large. It's Jio which has revolutionised the internet and communications sector and forced other players like Airtel, Vodafone and even BSNL to drastically reduce the prices and make communication including Net affordable to the common man.

It has not only hurt domestic players but even foreign players including China. It is also a fact that China is trying its best to push Huawei into most countries of the world. However, a number of countries have now denied or delayed permission to Huawei due to security reasons and China's role in the spread of Covid-19 the world over. Of late, because of the stand-off with China in Eastern Ladakh, India has shown no interest in Huawei due to its unfair business practices and security reasons. In fact, Jio is already working and is likely to bring 5G technology in India. And Huawei is feeling threatened by Jio.

India is one of the biggest communications markets with a population of 60 to 70 crore having access to smartphones. China doesn't want to lose such a lucrative market. Jio is capable of introducing 5G technology in India at a more competent rate and better terms and conditions. To get a 5G contract for Huawei and demoralise Jio, the sole Indian competitor, China can go to any extent.

Therefore, China's hand along with its proxy, Pakistan's ISI, cannot be ruled out in damaging more than 1,500 Jio Towers in Punjab. The state government should take stern action against such antisocial elements and restore confidence of the public. Even partial interruption of telecommunications and the Internet is going to have an adverse effect on a large population including students who are dependent on the Net for their online classes.

The state government must act fast and restore normalcy, including taking suitable action against defaulters and antisocial elements.

Disclaimer:The author is former head of the Territorial Army. Views are personal


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