Punjab farmer unions say ‘our focus only boycott’, blame ‘miscreants’

Despite Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s appeals against the same, some farmer groups continued to disrupt power supply to Reliance Jio mobile towers Sunday. Sources said power to more than 150 mobile towers had been snapped in the past 24 hours. Till date, power supply to over 1,338 such mobile towers has been cut off.

The latest happened in Talwandi Sabo area of Bathinda. Even in Fazilka, the same thing was done in many border villages. Apart from snapping power supply, infrastructure too was damaged in some areas. In Moosa village of Mansa, one pole connected to the tower was thrown away while a cable box was also found burnt.

Sources said some villagers manhandled employees of a company when they went to repair the cables.

Shingaara Singh Maan, vice-president of BKU (Ugrahan) told The Indian Express: “We never gave such a call, rather we were the first organisation to tell our members that they should not resort to snapping power supply or any other damage to mobile towers. Our focus is only on boycotting a telecom company. If anyone is doing it, they must be people who are doing it on their own as they are very angry against corporates. BKU Ugrahan has nothing to do with it.”

Dr Dharampal, president of Krantikari Kisan Union and coordinator of All India Kisan Sangrash Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), said, “We appealed to everyone in Punjab, Haryana villages on Saturday evening when our evening presser was going on and as well as on Sunday from stage, our focus is only on boycotting and nothing else.”

Jagmohan Singh, working committee member, AIKSCC, said, “The Samyukt Kisan Morcha and 32 farmer unions have issued appeals to farmers twice to avoid such actions. Our protests have remained peaceful till now and let them run in a peaceful manner ahead as well. We don’t want to give any chance to anyone to talk ill about us. I apprehend some miscreants as well who may be doing this as our unions have categorically told their members to focus on boycotting Jio connections.”

Amarinder had issued an appeal on Friday asking farmers not to disrupt state’s telecom services as internet network was important for many who are working from home, to hospitals, for online education and also many other services in day to day life.

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