Airtel shuts down operations in Manipur following militants attacks
Imphal, Apr 22 (ANI): Following continuous attacks by militants on telecom towers and employees associated with the industry in Manipur, the tower service of Airtel company has stopped its operations in the state.
Recently, unidentified militants torched an Airtel tower at the Langol game village in Imphal.
"One of the militants asked me whether the tower was functional or not. When I told him that it was not operating, he replied that they were there to destroy it. I tried to stop them but they torched the tower and left," said N Rupachandra Singh, the caretaker of the Airtel Tower.
The All Manipur Airtel workers union has demanded stern action against the culprits. They want an amicable solution so that they can work in a peaceful environment.
There are five telecom companies operating in the region. They are BSNL, Airtel, Aircel, Vodafone, Reliance and Tata Indicom.
"The incident has scared us. We do not want to die just because we operate the BTS towers in Manipur. We are very worried. We do not know how things will be but for now the towers are not functioning till we reach an amicable solution," said Nilakomol Singh, advisor, All Manipur Airtel Workers' Union.
In the past 24 months militants have been targeting the telecom companies in a big way.
In 2010 militants destroyed 10 BTS towers whereas 17 towers in 2009. In February 2010, the proscribed Kangleipak Communist Party issued a warning that all the mobile companies were banned in Manipur.
In the past four months, the police has registered nearly six cases of attacks on telecom employees. But till now no arrests have been made.
The private sector in Manipur is virtually non-existent, due to the activities of militant groups who are now ruthlessly targeting the mobile companies that are the last vestiges of organised private sector in the state. (ANI)
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