Srinagar:The telecom companies are making huge business in Kashmir but at the same time, security and privacy of customers is taking a back seat for the telecom service providers. In a bizarre incident, a person who applied for a prepaid reliance SIM card had submitted photographs of a famous cricketer of Pakistan, Shahid Afridi and mentioned his name as Surinder Singh of Jawahar nagar. Though the application was rejected, the reason cited was fake photograph only. No efforts were made to verify the rest of the details given by the said person.
Omar Bhat, a marketer for reliance telecommunications said, Every single day I come across hundreds of applications which are fabricated but the company hardly bothers to look into it. As a matter of fact, a single person has more than five SIM cards of the same telecom company. It has become like a use and throw commodity. There is no check on this. Telecom companies want to earn as much as they can. A target is set for every marketer to sell as many SIM cards of the company as possible. Fake documents with fake details can easily be used to procure SIM cards these days.
On one hand, the telecom companies are voicing their concerns over security issues while on the other, they are handing out SIM cards like candies at Halloween. At times, a single person uses fake documentation with a different name and address and easily gets away with it as in their hurry to race ahead of their competitors, the telecom companies often neglect proper verification procedures. If something amiss occurs because of the negligence of one company, all telecom companies are banned. This is how things work in Kashmir. Serious action should be taken over this, says Latif Illahi, an ex-worker of the Bharti Airtel Company.
Area Sales Head Manager of Reliance communication, Irshad Ahmed said, There are proper rules to be followed by the company before handing a SIM card to a person but at times, people may get away with fake documentation since every system has loop holes. I agree that the responsibility lies with the telecom companies to ensure valid documents are produced before issuing SIM cards. Sometimes a friendly neighbour or a family member may help a person procure more than one SIM card by providing their own documents instead.
Everybody knows about the problems that we face due to this. God forbid if something goes wrong, the person on whose name the SIM card was issued may get into trouble. So I think if the telecom companies really care about the security of the customers, they should verify the documents thoroughly before issuing SIM cards to people, he added.
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