Friday, October 30, 2009

No prepaid mobiles in Kashmir from Nov 1

No new prepaid mobile connections would be issued nor would existing ones be renewed from Nov 1 in Jammu and Kashmir following reports that militant groups were getting SIM cards on fake identities, the union home ministry said Friday.

"The ministry of home affairs has decided that no prepaid mobile connections would be issued and existing prepaid SIM cards would not be renewed in Jammu and Kashmir after Nov 1, 2009," an official said.

The ministry has asked the Department of Telecommunications to take appropriate action to implement the decision.

The move comes after reports that militants were getting mobile SIM cards on fake documents, setting off alarm bells in the security and intelligence establishments of the insurgency-hit state.

"The step comes in the wake of the reports that proper verification is not being done while providing such prepaid mobile connections by the service providers and vendors. In some cases, a single person had been issued with multiple number of connections," the home ministry said.

"The fake documents and identity cards are also being used by the vendors particularly, in the case of prepaid connections. This situation has given rise to serious security concerns. Hence, the decision," the ministry said.

Intelligence agencies have been maintaining that private service providers were "overlooking security parameters to push their sales".

Police have arrested several people in many parts of the state including Doda, Kupwara and Srinagar after it was discovered that pre-paid connections were being used by militants. Cell phones, police said, were also used to trigger off blasts.
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