Farmer leader protesting on the Delhi border in an appeal on Tuesday said mobile phone towers should not be damaged after 1,500 mobile towers were vandalised in Punjab amid protests over the three agri laws.
Denying any role in the damaging the telecom towers, farmer leaders, in their appeal from the Singhu border said the mobile towers and infrastructure should not be damaged as their call was only on boycotting a company.
Reports say the protesting villagers have cut power supplies and fibre cables and damaged generators.
Krantikari Kisan Union President Dharampal said their focus has been "only on boycotting and nothing else."
Of the 1,561 mobile towers affected over the past few days owing to farmers' agitations, 146 were impacted in Monday due to disruption of power supply to 32 towers that led to the disconnection of services of the remaining 114.
So far, 433 towers have been repaired, a state government spokesperson said.
The state has a total of 21,306 mobile towers spread across its 22 districts.
Issuing a stern warning, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had said the vandalisation of mobile towers and disruption of telecom services won't be allowed and directed the police to take strict action.
He had urged them to exercise the same restraint that they had been showing over the past several months and said that telecom connectivity had become even more critical for people amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
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, by protesting farmers in different parts of the state.
The Chief Minister said disruption of telecom services could lead to a communications blackout in the state, adversely affect 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.