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Pre-paid mobile may be banned in Kashmir: Chidambaram

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - 23:40

Srinagar: In what could be bad news for
nearly 38 lakh pre-paid mobile phone subscribers in Jammu and
Kashmir, the Centre today said it may ban this service due to
security reasons.

The announcement came from Union Home Minister
P Chidambaram while replying to a query from an outstation
journalist who is here in connection with the All India
Editors’ Conference organised by Press Information Bureau.

The move comes after several incidents were reported
by security forces in which militants had used pre-paid
mobiles purchased under fictitious names for communicating
with one another.

He said the government has been making efforts to
persuade pre-paid subscribers to switch to post-paid
connections due to security issues.

"We may have to ban the pre-paid mobile services in
Kashmir valley for a while if our efforts (at persuasion) do
not succeed," he added.

Chidambaram was asked by one of the delegates about
lack of roaming facilities on pre-paid mobile connections in
Jammu and Kashmir.

"Why you want to keep pre-paid SIM card? Why don’t you
take a post-paid connection?" he replied, prompting laughter
from the journalists.

Airtel has nearly 19 lakh subscribers followed by BSNL
having 12 lakh and Aircel having seven lakh.

Bureau Report

First Published: Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - 23:40

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