Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday said Centre’s decision to ban pre-paid mobile services in J&K was like treating the state separately, which his government did not want.
“We don’t want J&K to be treated separately. It’s not the only state where there is violence. We (the state government) had advised the Centre that this measure will punish the genuine subscribers,” said Omar Abdullah.
However, J&K is not the first state where ban on pre-paid has been imposed on security reasons. In 2003, on the directions of Home Ministry, the service was banned in all seven states of the North-East. At that time Reliance was the only service provider there. But after some time the subscribers were asked switched over to post-paid service after filling up a form. The ban was though lifted after one-and-half year.
The CM made this statement at a press conference on the opening of Durbar (civil secretariat) in Jammu- the winter capital.
Omar said, “We were told that something like this was being contemplated by the Home Ministry. Even at that stage, we had advised against this measure.”
Even though he didn’t mention when the government came into knowledge about the proposed move, but it clearly reflects the fact that Home Ministry, particularly Home Minister P Chidambaram, had firmly decided to go ahead with the move, thus affecting 38 lakhs pre-paid users in the state.
The Home Ministry on October 30 had issued a statement to impose ban on the services in the state. On 14, addressing media at Srinagar, Chidambaram had said that this service should be banned.
The decision has assumed political connotations in the state with the main opposition PDP terming it as move to deny people of the state basic facilities. Pradesh Congress Committee has also opposed the decision.
On the term ‘agitation terrorism’, particularly used by Army, the CM said, “ J&K sees agitational mindset from time to time. Terrorism is one part and agitation the other. They may have convergence at some level but they shouldn’t be linked.”
The Army has expressed concern over the new phenomena of agitation terrorism, in which terrorist make people (or force them) to come on the streets.