Friday, November 6, 2009

Ban on prepaid connections in Indian-held Kashmir hits lovers..

Pin It Youngsters say prepaid lifeline for couples wanting to avoid detection SRINAGAR: Secret lovers in Indian-held Kashmir (IHK),

used to arranging trysts on their mobile phones, are up in arms over a ban on prepaid connections announced last week by the government.

Justified on security grounds after a string of bomb blasts triggered by prepaid mobiles, the ban affects 3.8 million users in the socially conservative, Muslim-majority region where romance is taboo. Prepaid connections might well be the choice of anti-India militants, say angry young sweethearts, but they are also a lifeline for couples wanting to avoid detection from disapproving parents or prying elders.

“For a few hundred militants, they have made tens of thousands (of people) suffer,” 24-year-old female student, who is worried about her relationship, told AFP, asking not to be named. “I know I am committing a sin, but I love Mehran (name changed) and I can’t even think of living without him,” she added.

“The ban will hit us hard... I don’t want to get into the post-paid business of (police) verifications and detailed bills arriving at your residence. I’ll get caught,” said the student. “It was a shock decision. It made me and my girlfriend really angry,” Zahoor Dar, a computer engineer, said of the new rule. “Only a few of our friends know we are in a relationship. No one else does,” added Dar, who is trying to find new ways to stay in touch with his girlfriend since their mobile link ended on Sunday.

In recent years, some couples had begun openly dating in parks, restaurants and Internet cafes in IHK, though love marriages are still rare in the scenic region where arranged marriages are the norm.

For some, the ban is a welcome move to stamp out modern influences. “This ban, I am sure, will help to curb immoral activities,” said 65-year Abdul Ahad, a retired government official who is angered by the sight of “young girls and women with mobile phones”. afp

SOurce : Flare

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