After public outcry, Jammu and Kashmir police revoke order to collect customer details | india | Hindustan Times
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After public outcry, Jammu and Kashmir police revoke order to collect customer details

Drawing flak from mobile-phone users and service providing vendors, the Jammu and Kashmir Police on Friday rescinded an administrative order instructing recharging vendors to visit police station every fortnight withcustomer details.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2012 19:34 IST
Peerzada Ashiq

Drawing flak from mobile-phone users and service providing vendors, the Jammu and Kashmir Police on Friday rescinded an administrative order instructing recharging vendors to visit police station every fortnight withcustomer details.

“Instructions issued to recharge vendors to maintain records of customers have been rescinded following assurances by the mobile service providers to provide such details centrally,” said a statement issued by Srinagar-based police headquarters.

All district police authorities were asked not to collect any details from recharge vendors now.

Inspector general of police Shiv Murari Sahai had issued directions for customers and vendors to carry identity proof and register with the vendor ever time a pre-paid mobile connection user recharges.

Hundreds of vendors are earning their livelihood by providing services to pre-paid connections in the valley. Rough estimates suggest that there are more than 20 lakh prepaid connections users in the valley.

“New direction was issued to check the leakage of fake cell numbers. This will help police in curbing crime,” said Sahai.

Several vendors, however, stopped recharging phones on Thursday as a mark of protest. “I am not educated and run a tailor shop. At the same time, I also recharge mobile phones. I had to hire an employee to fill the details and send him to police station. I am relieved the order has been withdrawn,” said Ali Muhammad, a resident of south Kashmir’s Shopian district.

The new order would have made it mandatory for only the owner of a cell phone to re-charge his or her phone. “It was cumbersome for women to carry identity cards every time she visits a vendor and leave address and charging details. It was usurping of very private space despite the fact we have provided all details at the time of application of cellular service,” said Nuzhat Jan, a student of Nawa Kadal College in Srinagar.

Representatives of six telecom companies --- Airtel, Aircell, Vodafone, Reliance, Tata Indicom and Idea --- have agreed to provide details to police. There is a single window system offered by all the six cellular companies where all the data is feed to a single server making it easy to collect details of charging and phone calls.

Kashmir STD-PCO Owners Association president Bashir Ahmad welcomed the decision. “We thank the IGP for the new direction. It was not possible for us to be a cop and collect details from woman and I-cards every day. The move shows police’s foresightedness,” said Ahmad.