‘Misuse of SIM cards prompted police scrutiny’

Some Of These Were Going To Pakistan: DGP


Srinagar, Jan 30: Director General of Police Ashok Prasad Wednesday said misuse of SIM cards by militants in Jammu and Kashmir has prompted the decision of police scrutiny for multiple connections.
“The SIM cards are being taken to Pakistan and later used by militants in J&K and other parts. There are several such evidences,” Prasad told Greater Kashmir. “People used to take SIMs in bulk and give some of them to militants. Now we would not allow that to happen,” he said.
“Let us see the results of new procedure for one month. We will later see whether to continue it or not,” the DGP said. He said the police already have the record of subscribers. “Now onwards new mobile phone connections would be verified after the study of previous records,” he said.
The new policy, announced Tuesday, states that a second mobile connection will be issued to a subscriber in J&K only after police scrutiny.
A Department of Telecommunication (DoT) letter to telecom operators in J&K reads: “TSP (Telecom Service Providers) shall make a reference to local police for their clearance. In case the TSP does not receive any reply from police within 10 days, it can activate the second connection as per the procedure applicable for providing mobile connection after calling on first number for cross verification.”
Well informed sources in police said that the law enforcing agency has written to Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) that the SIM cards are being used by militants in J&K and there was urgency to put a stop on it.
“The new policy has been entirely drafted by MHA and later forwarded to Telecommunication Ministry who issued the directions to telecom operators,” sources said, adding that several SIM cards issued some time ago were recovered from militants killed at Line of Control (LoC) and hinterland.
This is not the first time that mobile subscribers in J&K have been put under radar. Earlier in November 2009, the Centre banned prepaid mobile phone connections in Jammu and Kashmir. The Ministry of Home Affairs had decided that no fresh prepaid mobile connections should be issued and existing prepaid SIM cards should not be renewed. In January 2010, Centre withdrew the unpopular decision with the department of telecommunications coming out with a very strict verification guideline for existing as well as new subscribers.
It was reported that the ban was withdrawn after Chief Minister Omar Abdullah raised the matter with the Centre. The move affected nearly 38 lakh prepaid mobile phone subscribers in the state.
Moreover, SMS service on prepaid mobiles is still banned in the state.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 30 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 30 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 31 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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