Kashmiris Object to Ban on Prepaid Mobiles; State to Take Matter with Centre

Jammu and Kashmir government has said that it will take up the issue of ban on prepaid mobile phones in the state with the Union Home Ministry to ensure that genuine users do not suffer and security is also not compromised.

“We will approach MHA and try to work out an arrangement where the genuine user doesn’t suffer and security is not also compromised,” an official spokesman said, terming the ban effective from tomorrow as not a positive development.

Yesterday, the central government announced the ban in the wake of the reports that service providers/ vendors do not do proper verification while providing connections.

“It is a decision taken by the union government. We will monitor its impact on genuine users and take appropriate measures accordingly. It is not a positive development.”

In the meantime, Kashmiri people objected to the ban, saying that they would face difficulties as a result.

“This will cause a huge telecommunication gap in the rural areas. Most of the people in these areas have pre-paid mobile connections, as they are comparatively cheaper. I don’t think it is a good decision,” said Ejaz Ahmed, a local.

Others said the procedure of shifting from pre-paid to post-paid mobile connections would be a cumbersome process.

“We will have to wait for months and stand in long queues before we can change our pre-paid mobile connections to post-paid. I think it is a wrong decision as the cell phone companies have record of their pre-paid as well as post-paid customers,” said Gulam Hassan, another local.

Bashir Ahmad, a trader dealing in mobile sim-cards, said traders could not understand the point behind banning the service in the State.

“I see no point in banning pre-paid connections and not post-paid connections. When we are following the regulations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), as followed in other parts of the country like doing proper verification, taking contact and address of the person before selling sim-cards, there is no point in banning pre-paid connections,” Ahmad said.

The decision also indicates that citizens owning prepaid connections from other states will not be provided roaming acilities while visiting the state.

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