Omar to hold talks with Home Ministry over ban on pre-paid mobile connections

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Srinagar, Nov 9(ANI): Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday said he would hold talks with Union Home Ministry over its decision to ban pre-paid mobile service in the State from November 1.

Omar's initiative comes as the decision has resulted in complete chaos, as thousands of people who were associated with the industry have been rendered jobless in the State. And residents have been protesting that the procedure of shifting from pre-paid to post-paid mobile connections is a cumbersome process.

"Jammu and Kashmir has to be kept at par with other states in respect of use of SIM cards. We cannot put to inconvenience large number of genuine users for the fault of service groups," Omar said.

Earlier, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had decided not to issue fresh pre-paid mobile connections in Jammu and Kashmir on account of security concerns. And as per the policy the existing pre-paid SIM cards were banned in the State on November 1.

Mobile services were started in the Kashmir valley a few years ago. It is estimated that there 45 million connections in the State out of which 3.9 million connections are pre-paid.

The Ministry had even asked the Department of Telecommunications to take appropriate action in the matter for implementation of the decision.

The step came in the wake of the reports that proper verification was not being done while providing such pre-paid mobile connections by the service providers/vendors.

In some cases, a single person had been issued with multiple number of connections. Fake documents/identity numbers were also reportedly being used by the vendors particularly, in the case of pre-paid connections. This situation had given rise to serious security concerns. (ANI)

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