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Reliance Industries says it has no interest in contract farming

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday seeking government intervention to safeguard its assets and services in the two states against "miscreants" who have damaged several of its telecom towers. Reliance Jio's installations were vandalised allegedly by farmers angry over the company's perceived role in framing three farm laws recently passed by Parliament.

The company said it had nothing to do with the farm laws since it has no interest in corporate or contract farming, an issue that has been taken up by the agitating farmers.

Over 1,500 of Reliance Jio's 9,000 telecom towers in Punjab alone had taken a hit due to physical damage, power disruption or theft of generators.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had issued a stern warning against such vandalism, asking the police to take strict action. However, no cases have been filed in this connection so far, let alone arrests being made.

RIL, through Reliance Jio Infocomm, moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court today, seeking urgent government intervention to "bring a complete stop to the illegal acts of vandalism by miscreants", a statement issued by RIL said.

"These acts of violence have endangered the lives of thousands of its employees and caused damage and disruption to the vital communications infrastructure, sales and service outlets run by its subsidiaries in the two states," the statement said. "The miscreants indulging in vandalism have been instigated and aided by vested interests and our business rivals."

The company said, "Reliance Retail, Reliance Jio Infocomm, or any other affiliate of our parent company, ie, Reliance Industries have not done any 'corporate' or 'contract' farming in the past, and have absolutely no plans to enter this business," the statement said, also denying any purchase of land in Punjab or Haryana with that purpose in mind. "We at Reliance have immense gratitude and the greatest respect for India's kisans, who are the '<em>anna data</em>' of 1.3 billion Indians.".