SIM cards continue to help J-K militants

At a time when more and more cellular companies are coming to Jammu and Kashmir,militants continue to misuse these services.

Written by Ishfaq Naseem | Jammu | Published: February 11, 2009 11:51:47 am

At a time when more and more cellular companies are coming to Jammu and Kashmir to launch their mobile services,militants continue to misuse the services which come in handy for them to stay in touch.

Sources said that after SIM cards were recovered from the militants of different outfits,a recent case was that of use of cell phones by the militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militant outfit. Police have arrested two over-ground workers (OGWs) in Doda district after intercepting their call in Jammu on Monday.

Police arrested the militants after the intercept was tapped by it,sources said,adding that the militants of Lashakr-e-Toiba (LeT) militant outfit asked the OGWs to provide them the money. Two of the OGWs have been identified as Ghulam Hassan and Mohammad Hussain and police also recovered Rs 4,000 from them.

Senior Superintendent of Doda,Prabhat Singh,confirmed the arrest saying that the probe was going on.

However it was the easy accessibility of the mobile SIM cards that was worrying the police. In the state,though,the percentage of teledensity was only 26 per cent out of the 50 per cent population which come under the cell services’ purchasing range.

With the recent entry of Reliance telecom,the number of cell phone providers in the state has increased five times. However while the competition has become fierce,the cell companies say that they are taking extra precautions and following the Department of Telecommunication’s guidelines.

However,General Manager,BSNL,R K Koul,said that the issuance of the SIM cards has been more stringent. “The SIM cards are only made available through our franchisee dealers and they are not available on retail. It is only the recharge coupons which are available on retail and the point of sale of SIMs is being done through our direct selling agents and the authorized franchisees only.”

He also said that SIM cards were being issued only after a thorough verification. “In the verification of those who are being given SIM cards,we also check the residential address of the customers which is being done after they submit the documents including their photo identities and other residential proofs.”

It can only be that the genuine SIM card holder gives it to someone who misuses it,he added.

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