Indian Govt bans pre-paid cell because of "separatists"

Bill Stewart bill.stewart at
Mon Feb 2 16:59:15 PST 2004

The Indian government has banned the sale of pre-paid cash cards for cell
phones in the northeastern states of Assam and Meghalaya, allegedly
because separatists have bought lots of them for hard-to-trace
communications.  Reliance Telephone, who runs cell service in those areas,
didn't feel they had a choice about complying.  (If it were VSNL, the
former telecom monopoly, that'd be no surprise, but Reliance is a big
competitor.)  Consumer groups are extremely upset and vocal (at least
until their current phone cards run out, at which point they'll become
much quieter...)  We'll see how long Bogus Homeland Security can override
consumers and smugglers.-- 

Bill Stewart bill.stewart at

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