Erring telecom franchisees may be charged under UAPA in J&K

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - 19:42

New Delhi: The government is contemplating
booking telecom franchisees in Jammu and Kashmir under the
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) if they violate
norms in issuing SIM cards following inputs that terrorists
were still getting mobile connections.

Government sources said the proposal to book telecom
franchisees was made by representatives from Jammu and Kashmir
at a meeting held by Union Home Secretary G K Pillai with
representatives from both Department of Telecom and the state
government besides others.

Department of Telecom Secretary P J Thomas, who was also
present at the meeting, tried to highlight the steps taken by
the department but drew a blank when asked to specify about
the steps taken in Jammu and Kashmir, official sources said.

The DoT Secretary later said the department will apprise
the next meeting of the penalties to be imposed on erring
telecom franchisees, sources said.

The meeting came close on the heels of reports that
militants were still getting SIM cards.

Besides booking the telecom franchisees found violating
the norms, the state government also favoured imposition of
heavy fines.

Issuance of SIM cards in Jammu and Kashmir has been a
major issue before the government as well as various security
agencies.

The primary reason is that a large number of SIM cards
were issued without proper verification and militants used
them for communication.

The government has taken a number of steps to check this
and has introduced tough conditions for issuance of SIM cards
in the state.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - 19:42

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