BEGUM Khalida Shah, daughter of former CM Sheikh Abdullah and widow of former CM G M Shah, was reportedly asked by BSNL officials to appear in person at its Jammu office before her request for a mobile phone connection could be granted.
Both Khalida, 81, and her son Muzaffar Shah — president of Awami National Conference — had applied for connections at the BSNL office in Srinagar almost a month ago.
However, when they did not receive SIM cards, Khalida sent all the documents to the BSNL office at Jammu through her brother Dr Sheikh Mustafa Kamal. Kamal is a former minister and additional general secretary of National Conference.
The BSNL Jammu office allegedly refused to issue Khalida a SIM card, saying that she would first have to appear in person before them. When contacted, Muzaffar Shah said he had received his SIM, but his mother had not got hers.
Kamal accused BSNL officials of taking advantage of the current unrest by refusing connections to applicants hailing from the affected areas. The NC leader said, “It is unfortunate that people in distress have been exploited by vested interests since time immemorial, but a government agency like BSNL doing the same is shameful.”
BSNL Chief General Manager S K Verma said he would enquire about the matter from the officials concerned. “In view of the security concerns in the state, they must have asked for her personal appearance to establish that it was she who had applied for a SIM card,” he added.