Pro-Indian party protests pre-paid mobile ban in India-controlled Kashmir

10:28, November 07, 2009      

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The activists of pro-Indian political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Friday staged a protest demonstration against New Delhi's decision to ban pre-paid mobile service in India-controlled Kashmir.

The protesters led by PDP president Mehbooba Mufti marched on roads in Srinagar city, the summer capital of India-controlled Kashmir, demanding lifting of ban imposed on the pre-paid service in the region.

All the important leaders and legislators of the party participated in the protest demonstration, while activists were carrying placards reading: "Stop suspecting Kashmiris".

PDP is the region's main opposition party.

Mehbooba rapped Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P. Chidambaram for imposing ban on pre-paid mobile services in the region and urged New Delhi to give up its "discriminatory attitude" towards Kashmir.

She accused New Delhi of suspecting Kashmiris and threatened to launch a mass movement against such steps like banning of mobiles which according to her adds the feeling of siege among the people.

"Banning of pre-paid mobile service reflects particular mindset of New Delhi in which they see every Kashmiris with suspicion," Mehbooba said.

The Indian government announced the ban on pre-paid mobile service in the region last week on security reasons, citing reports that militants were availing the service in their activities.

The ban has affected 3.8 million users, including livelihood of20,000 people.

Mobile services in the region were launched in 2003 after clearance from security agencies. Initially only two companies gave the go-ahead following appeals by the then ruling PDP party.

The government has ordered the service providers to ensure only the post-paid service. In this mode of service customers are billed on a monthly basis. Compared to it pre-paid phones had the payment flexibility and were charged as per need.

Source: Xinhua
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