Attack on BSNL towers displays separatists' desperation: Ravi Shankar Prasad

New Delhi, May 30: Separatists trying to use telecom towers in Jammu and Kashmir indicates their desperation, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Saturday, while asking the state government to ensure the safety of communications infrastructure.

A spate of attacks against telecom employees and those who have rented out space for installation of mobile towers in their fields has thrown the communication system in north Kashmir's Baramulla into disarray.

Also read: Sopore attacks: Why is the Hizbul Mujahideen hiding?

Separatist elements trying to use towers

Suspected militants on Monday shot dead an employee of a BSNL franchisee and injured two others in Sopore town.

"I sympathise for death of BSNL employees in J&K. I am in touch with senior officers there... Some separatist elements trying to use our towers is a clear indication of how desperate they are," Prasad said at a Cabinet briefing here.

Prasad: Sympathise for death of BSNL employees in J&K

Following the attacks, telecom employees have stopped maintaining the mobile towers and those having franchise of telecom companies started distancing themselves from such services.

"I request J&K government that tower safety is necessary to ensure that there are no call drops. I commend the courage shown by our BSNL officers to protect the towers," Prasad said.

Although officials were tight-lipped as to why the militants were targeting telecom installations, sources said the ultras were upset about "theft" of their communication equipment from mobile transmission towers in Sopore and surrounding areas earlier this month.

The militants had allegedly installed communication equipment atop the towers of private and PSU companies.


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