SMS banned by JK Govt: BSNL

‘Order To Ban SMS On Prepaid Issued By The State’s Home Department’


Srinagar, July 17: The central government owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has informed the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) that SMS on pre-paid mobiles in the state was banned on the orders of Home Department of J&K Government and not the Central Government.
BSNL response came in reply to a notice by SHRC on a petition of human rights activist Deepak Sharma.
In his complaint to the Commission, Sharma had demanded revocation of the ban on SMS services in the state. “When services like whats app, facebook and twitter etc are actively working in the state, the ban on SMS becomes irrelevant and undemocratic and hence should be revoked,” Sharma stated in the complaint.
Acting on the complaint, the SHRC on June 29, 2013 sent notices to the Ministry of Telecommunication, Commissioner Secretary Home, J&K Government and Chief General Manager BSNL to furnish report in the matter.
In reply to the notice, BSNL submitted before the SHRC that the ban on SMS was ordered by the J&K Govt’s Home Department.
“The order to ban the SMS on prepaid subscribers in the state was ordered by the Home Department of J&K Government,” the CJM BSNL stated in his reply to SHRC. Two other respondents Ministry of Telecommunication and Commissioner Secretary Home J&K Government failed to submit report within the stipulated time period fixed by SHRC.
The complainant Deepak Sharma expressed surprise on the reply of BSNL. “On one hand the State Government has been persistently demanding revocation of AFSPA in the state on the grounds that the situation in the state has improved. While on the other hand they show a different standard when it comes to revocation of SMS ban in the state whereas it was imposed by our own Government. The state government should first revoke the ban on SMS services in the state.”
The case will again come up for hearing on August 27.
Pertinently, SMS were banned in the state during the 2008 Amarnath agitation. Union Ministry of Telecommunication has been maintaining that ban on pre-paid SMS services in J&K was imposed on security considerations at the behest of the Home Ministry.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 17 Jul 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 17 Jul 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 18 Jul 2013 00:00:00 IST

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