Mobile Users Hassled By Security Measures

In the name of national security, mobile phone users in Assam were forced to re-submit their identity documents. Recently, all prepaid mobile phone users had to re-submit identity proof documents, regardless of what they had submitted at the time of their sim card registration. Those who aren't able to re-submit their documents would have their sim card connection cancelled. For many, the re-submission procedure was a complex process. Indeed, some people just didn't have any of the documents accepted as identity proofs – passport, driving license, election card. For Anupama, our Community Correspondent in Kokhrajar district, this measure was not only hassling, but insulting and discriminatory. The Indian Government has undertaken the re-submission process in the Northeastern states and in Jammu-Kashmir only, in the name of national security. The Department of Telecommunications justified the measures by arguing that anti-national outfits and illegal migrants in these regions use prepaid services under fake names, and by asking everyone to confirm their identities they hoped to suss out the forged ones. For Anupama, this demand adds up to a long list of discriminatory measures implemented in the North East by the Central Indian State – the most ill-famous being the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, criticized by human rights organization worldwide. “We are always treated differently than the rest of the country, always stigmatized" said Anupama. Thus, Anupama decided not to comply with this rule, and not to submit her documents. But the majority of people in Assam are not aware of the reasons behind the demand of the Government. So, she decided to make a video to make people more aware of this whole process.

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