Pre-paid mobiles back, with riders
Bringing back smiles on the faces of 38 lakh subscribers, the government on Thursday lifted the ban on pre-paid mobile phone services in Jammu and Kashmir.
The ban has been lifted on the condition that service providers adhere to new, stringent verification guidelines issued by the Department of Telecommunications.
The department banned the recharge of pre-paid phones in the state from November 1 after Home Minister P Chidambaram pointed to lax verification of subscribers.
During the terror strike in Lal Chowk on January 6, the two terrorists got instructions from their handlers on mobile phones with pre-paid connections, intelligence officials said.
“It’s a great news,” said Sandeep Sharma, 22, a Jammu University student. “My SIM card is valid, I will get it recharged now,” he said.
“This will restore the people’s faith in the confidence building process,” said Peoples Democratic Party President Mehbooba Mufti.
The government has made it difficult for subscribers to get more than one connection and imposed a limit of six mobile phones per family in the state.
The service provider shall exercise caution in providing a second connection taking into account the reasons given for seeking multiple connections and the income of the family concerned.
All 38 lakh existing pre-paid connections will be reactivated after the re-verification process is done on the basis of identity proof, address proof and four recent photographs.
The service providers will retain one photograph; the remaining three will go to the state police, a central security agency and the vigilance wing of the telecom department.
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