Wireless Networks are under attack as terrorists have been attacking cell towers throughout India. This is a relatively unheard of method for terrorism in an era of technological communication growth. It has become a serious issue for many people occupying the region as terrorists want to cripple the area’s cellular network. As a result of attacks and threats, 50% of networks have been shut down and five SIM recharge facilities have been closed.
As if cell tower workers didn’t put their life at risk ascending a high altitude tower, the threat of terrorist attacks on cell towers is a very real danger. In the Kashmir Valley, two civilian workers were killed while three more were injured at a cell site. The attack was caused by a grenade being tossed at a cell tower.
The result of these attacks has been residents and operators shutting down their service in fear that they will also be attacked. Airtel, Vodafone, and Aircel have significantly reduced their service. A special meeting was called among five BSNL franchises across Kashmir that operates the area’s network. These companies collectively decided to close all outlets in Srinagar, Budgam, Ganderbal, Shopian, Pulwama, Kulgam, Anantnag, Baramulla, Bandipora and Kupwara.
Although suspects in the attack have been apprehended, authorities feel that these are not isolated incidents. The cause is believed to be related to the removal of an ISI-supplied radio communication device installed at a telecom tower.
Some might see this as conceding to terrorism, however, people in India see this as a legitimate threat and are scared. This is a precautionary move until the right course of action can be decided. “We don’t want to take any chances. We have small children and don’t want to fall prey to unknown gunmen,” said a BSNL franchise.
Terrorists certainly benefit from cellular networks no longer operating as they are no longer prone to being tracked by security agencies. Besides the validation in intimidation tactics, this aides terrorists in operating more stealth. This cannot continue in India as average people rely on cell phones to communicate. This area is dependent on mobile phone connectivity and internet facilities in order to achieve any economic progress.
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