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Home > News > Report

Assam: No laxity in verifying identity of applicants, says BSNL

K Anurag in Guwahati | November 13, 2006 16:07 IST

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Even as the Assam police turned the heat on mobile phone service providers in Assam on suspicion that United Liberation Front of Asom militants were using cell phones illegally taking advantage of loopholes in the process of providing connection, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, Assam circle, on Monday asserted that it strictly followed TRAI guidelines for verifying identity of applicant before allotting the mobile phone connection.

Assam police alleged that ULFA ultras in the state were found to be using mobile phones allotted in the name of different persons.

The police stumbled upon a case in Tinsukia district where a Cell One SIM card was found to be changing hands of five persons and was being used by militants.

The police was even contemplating to lodge a complaint with TRAI in this regard.

Tinsukia district police recently handed over lists of 97 Cell One subscribers to the BSNL authority for proper verification of their identity.

In Sivasagar district of upper Assam, police unearthed a racket involved in procuring mobile phone connections for ULFA militants from a private sector mobile phone provider.

However, senior BSNL officials including the chief general manager of Assam circle G Rajaram denied the company was showing any laxity in verifying the identity of applicants before granting Cell One connection.

"We are very strict in following TRAI guidelines and it has even affected our business in the state. We follow a very rigid customer identification method. The BSNL people can't be involved in giving Cell One connection to militants. Probably such SIM cards were handed over to militants illegally by some customers by hand," the senior BSNL official said.

Regarding signals, mobile phone networks of neighbouring countries including Bangladesh being available in some of the border areas of Assam, the BSNL official said that the matter was already brought to the notice of the Union Communication Ministry and a move was afoot to augment the Cell One network in the vicinity of international border areas.

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