J&K lifts ban on SMS
The J&K government on Wednesday lifted the ban on short messaging services (SMSes) on all post-paid mobile phone subscribers in the state but refrained from withdrawing it on pre-paid cell phones. The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by chief minister Omar Abdullah, which was attended by state police chief Kuldeep Khoda, home secretary B R Sharma and senior officials of central intelligence agencies, an official spokesman said. A decision was taken to revoke the ban on SMSes in J&K on all post-paid connections after reviewing the overall security situation in the state. However, the ban on post-paid bulk messages will continue. According to the order issued to mobile service operators, SMSes to post-paid subscribers only shall be permitted. “Bulk message services of licensed telecommunication operators and public utility agencies like the railways, airlines, scheduled banks and electricity boards shall be permitted for post-paid subscribers only,” the order said. However, the order made it clear that bulk messages generated from various internet portals, Short Message Peer to Peer clients of various telecom service providers should be disallowed by all licensed telecom service providers. The ban was imposed in June this year following widespread unrest in the Valley, which was further fuelled by bulk messages sent in by antinational forces.