SIMs under scanner for security | india | Hindustan Times
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SIMs under scanner for security

india Updated: Aug 11, 2006 14:22 IST

KEEPING NATIONAL security at the top of its agenda, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has instructed both the State-owned mobile phone operators BSNL & MTNL and all private players to carry out verification of its old as well new connections throughout the country.

While Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has joined hands with the postal department for this purpose in Madhya Pradesh, private players are taking help from outside agencies to get the job done.

The postal department till date has verified 25,000 BSNL mobile phone connections in Bhopal division against a target of 50,000-odd connections.

“We are using our postmen, who go to each and every address of mobile subscriber for individual verification,” said Senior Superintendent (Post Offices) Bhopal division, Brajesh Kumar.

The postal department is verifying connections through addresses mentioned in the original form submitted by the connection holders with BSNL.

However, he said that some postmen are facing non-cooperation from certain quarters, as some of the subscribers were found apprehensive in filling out the verification form.

“In case, there is a mismatch between the information furnished to procure SIMs and the current status like residence proof, we will terminate the connection,” BSNL General Manager Mahesh Shukla said.

The verification operation has been undertaken following instructions from the headquarters, which in turn received it from the Department of Telecommunication.

Airtel Mobile along with its own team of 500 has hired an agency for the verification job. “Since at the initial stage response was not as per our expectations, we have given it to a software agency that in turn would carry out the entire verification of our seven lakh-odd customers in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh,” Airtel Chief Operations Officer Sunil Goyal said.

“If the address of any connection appears dubious, it would be immediately terminated,” he added. Airtel has also informed its retailers to provide SIM only on the basis of proper documents failing which stringent action would be initiated against the retailer concerned.

Tata Indicom is also reported to have undertaken verification of its new customers. “We are verifying all new connections right now,” a Tata Indicom official said.

In the meantime, few cases are reported to have appeared where mobile connections have been procured on false information through the agents of service providers.

“We are yet to get such complaints but if this happens, action would immediately be taken,” the BSNL General Manager said.