After more than 1,500 telecom towers owned by Reliance were allegedly vandalised by farmers, the Punjab Police on Tuesday said it will take strict action against those resorting to violence “under the garb of their democratic right to protest”, reported NDTV. This came after Chief Minister Amarinder Singh issued a stern warning, saying he would not allow Punjab to be “plunged into anarchy” or tolerate destruction of any private or public property.

“I will not allow anyone to take the law into their hands,” Singh told The Indian Express. The chief minister added that the situation was under control by Tuesday, as “only four to five cases of vandalisation have come to light in the past 24 hours”

“We will take action against those who were involved in violence under the garb of their democratic right to protest,” officer Vikram Jeet Duggal in Patiala said, according to NDTV. “Services at telecom towers, which were disrupted due to violence, is being restored.”

The police, however, have not yet registered a first information report against anyone. In some cases, the police said it did not take action because only electricity lines of the area were snapped.

“There was no damage reported [to the towers],” Bathinda Senior Superintendent of Police Bhupinderjit Virk said. “Hence we did not file an FIR. Power supply to 29 out of 60 towers has been restored, and our teams are counselling villagers against indulging in such acts.’’

Reports of protestors damaging mobile towers and telecom gear surfaced last week, as tens of thousands of farmers marked a month of demonstrations in the outskirts of Delhi against the new agricultural legislations. In some instances, the towers had power supplies and fibre cables cut, while others had their generators stolen.

Farm union leaders had, however, denied any role in the destruction of the mobile towers. They said they had only called for a boycott of industrial groups such as Reliance and Adani – the two firms that farmers believe have profited the most from the new laws at their expense.

Out of 21,306 mobile towers in Punjab owned by various telecom service providers, Jio’s 1,561 have been affected, the Punjab government had said on Monday. “So far, 433 towers have been repaired,” an official spokesperson had said, according to NDTV.

Unidentified government officials in Punjab told The Indian Express that there had been “a lot of disquiet” around the incident. This was “particularly in light of the continued stalemate between the Centre and the protesting farmers,” said a senior official. “No one in the state wants the situation to get out of hand.”

District police chiefs have set up patrolling parties to guard the towers, saying their immediate concern was to restore the functioning of these towers. Most of the affected towers are mainly in 10 districts – Bathinda, Mansa, Nawanshahr, Tarn Taran, Jalandhar, Batala, Kapurthala, Amritsar, Hoshiarpur, and Ferozepur, the newspaper reported.

Follow today’s live updates of the farmer protests