Kashmir: No new SIM cards without police verification

Representative image. (DH photo)

The Jammu and Kashmir police asked telecom operators in the Valley not to issue any new SIM cards to customers without completing a police verification.
 
Recently, the police issued directions to all telecom operators that in case of any misuse of their service, they would be held responsible. The telecom operators have now decided to issue postpaid SIM cards only after proper verification that includes police verification as well as the company’s own ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) procedure.
 
An Airtel official revealed that they have a strict directive from the police and the administration not to issue SIM cards to a subscriber without proper verification. Due to the new directions, the telecom operators have also decided not to convert prepaid SIM cards into postpaid connections.
 
The demand for the conversion of prepaid SIMs into postpaid ones gained traction after authorities restored over 40 lakh postpaid phones on Oct. 14, after a gap of 70 days. In Kashmir, there are 40 lakh postpaid customers and over 26 lakh prepaid subscribers.
 
All modes of communication, including broadband, mobile phone services and internet were snapped on Aug. 5, when the Centre scrapped the special status for Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and bifurcated the State into two Union Territories.
 
A senior police officer said that they have only asked telecom companies to follow the proper verification procedure before issuing any new SIM cards. “If the telecom companies have decided not to convert prepaid SIMs into postpaid connections, it is their own decision,” he said.
 
More than a week after the restoration of postpaid connections across Kashmir, hundreds of people have started flooding the showrooms of Jio, Airtel, BSNL, Vodafone, Idea and other operators to get new postpaid SIM cards or to convert a prepaid card into a postpaid connection. However, many customers were left disappointed as all the telecom companies refused the prepaid to postpaid conversions.
 

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