'Lashkar-e-Islam' Gives One Day To Telcos To Make Kashmir Valley Cell Phone Free

29 May 2015
Times of India
M Saleem Pandit

Srinagar: Lashkar-e-Islam, the new militant outfit that has emerged in Kashmir, on Friday warned telecommunication companies to wind up all operations within a day in the Valley or else face the consequences. 'From now, if telecommunication networks, recharge service vendors, tower land owners don't stop their work we will take action against them. They have only one day to wind up their work,' the outfit's field operation spokesman Gazi Abu Sariq said in a statement released to a local news agency, KNS. The statement said that in the last three weeks, through posters and pamphlets, people were asked to snap telecom towers as senior commanders of 'jihadi' organisations were killed because of telecommunications, 'causing much damage to the movement'. Referring to several attacks in the last one week over telecom towers, Lashkar-e-Islam asked people in the telecom business not to ignore its threat, saying the result of 'ignoring such warnings are known to all'. A BSNL employee and the father of a sarpanch who had mobile tower installed in his residential compound were gunned down this week. 'When the Indian government asked telecom service providers a year ago to suspend the SMS service as it benefited the Mujahideen, it took these telecommunication networks less than half an hour to stop the services. Today when for the sake of Islam we ask these telecommunication networks to suspend their operations, why reluctance is shown? Why have they not stopped their services till now? Even private recharge vendors are doing their business. Land owners also are not dismantling telecom towers,' the statement said. Sariq even warned Hurriyat leaders not to interfere in their affairs and forge unity. 'We want to tell you (Huriyat) leaders, do not participate in the funeral procession of any martyr and never do politics by lecturing on these occasions. Stop playing politics over the blood of martyrs - we will not accept it,' said the statement.