Govt bans pre-paid mobile connections in Kashmir
NEW DELHI |
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The government on Friday banned pre-paid mobile phone connections in Jammu and Kashmir over security concerns.
Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said new pre-paid mobile connections would not be issued nor existing SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) cards renewed in the disputed region starting November.
The ban follows reports that neither vendors nor service providers carry out thorough identity checks on buyers when issuing a connection.
India has launched an overhaul of its security systems after Islamist militants killed 166 people in Mumbai in November 2008.
Police have said militants used multiple SIM to communicate with their handlers in Pakistan during the three-day strike.
Militants have in the past used mobile phones to detonate bombs via remote control.
Violence is now at its lowest in Kashmir since a separatist insurgency against Indian rule in the region broke out in 1989, but officials say incidents of "infiltration" of militants from Pakistan have risen over the past few months.
(Reporting by Rituparna Bhowmik; Editing by Matthias Williams)
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