NEW DELHI: Reliance Industries Ltd has moved a petition in the Punjab and Haryana high court today, seeking the government’s intervention to bring a complete stop to acts of vandalism by miscreants, who destroyed some of its telecom towers in the states a few days ago.
“Taking advantage of the ongoing farmers’ agitation near the national capital, these vested interests have launched an incessant, malicious and motivated vilification campaign against Reliance, which has absolutely no basis in truth,” the conglomerate said in a statement.
While thanking authorities for their action against the vandals, Reliance has sought punitive and deterrent action against miscreants and vested interests in its plea to the high court.
“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 miscreants indulging in vandalism have been instigated and aided by vested interests and our business rivals,” it claimed.
Reliance has asserted that it has nothing to do with the three farm laws enacted by the Centre, and in no way benefits from them. It added that its subsidiary Reliance Retail, Reliance Jio Infocomm has not engaged in any “corporate” or “contract” farming in the past, and has no plans to enter this business in future.
The Mukesh Ambani-owned company clarified that it has not purchased any agricultural land, directly or indirectly, in Punjab/Haryana or anywhere else in India, for agricultural purposes. It further mentioned that it does not purchase any food grains directly from farmers, and has never entered into long-term procurement contracts to gain unfair advantage over farmers or sought that its suppliers buy from farmers at less than remunerative prices.
“Reliance and its affiliates fully share and support the aspiration of Indian farmers to get a fair and profitable price on a predictable basis for what they produce with exemplary hard work, innovation and dedication. Reliance seeks significant augmentation of their incomes on a sustainable basis, and pledges to work towards this goal. Indeed, we shall insist on our suppliers to strictly abide by the Minimum Support Price (MSP) mechanism, and/or any other mechanism for remunerative price for farm produce, as may be determined and implemented by the government,” the company said.
The conglomerate’s statement comes on a day the government was scheduled to hold talks with protesting farmers in New Delhi. This round of discussions, too, proved inconclusive; the next meeting will be held on 8 January. Meanwhile, farmers have declared their intention to further intensify their movement.