Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Telecommunication related news from Assam in 2007

BSNL to cover Assam rural areas by June
GUWAHATI, May 17 – The Chief General Manager (CGM) of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), Assam Circle, G Rajaram on Thursday assured more reliability and greater facilities for its service users and promised to complete its coverage of rural Assam by June 2007. The CGM also announced that the telecom company was about to set up more Base Trans-receiver System (BTS) towers along the entire stretch of Indo Bangladesh border.Addressing media persons on the occasion of the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day today, the CGM revealed that BSNL, Assam Circle would be focusing on extending broadband services, internet access, GSM mobile network etc in the coming days. Rajaram said that following a nod from New Delhi, BSNL has already erected Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication BTS towers at seven places in three districts along the border and that it would enable network availability up to 500 mts from the border. Earlier the union home ministry had debarred cellphone facilities within 10 kms of the border. “ With the union government lifting the restriction, we have plans to set up at least 20 more towers along the Indo Bangla border within this financial year,” divulged Rajaram.Rajaram said that though Assam was a place with lot of constraints, the telecommunication service provider has been able to achieve most of its objectives and was looking forward to scale greater heights in the days to come. Elaborating on the accomplishments of BSNL, Rajaram said that out of the 598 telephone exchanges in the State, 377 were located in the rural areas and claimed that the telecom company had extended telephone facility to more than 95 percent of the villages in the State.It may be mentioned here that at present the company’s broadband services are available in Guwahati, Nagaon, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia and Silchar. Rajaram said that the broadband service would be expanded to all the district head quarters and major towns by March 2008. He further said that about 3,00,000 mobile capacity would be added within the next three months.On the other hand, the telecom company has declared 2007 as The Year of North East. “ Our special thrust would be to provide telecom facility on demand any where in the State,” asserted Rajaram.Dwelling at length on the problems faced by the company, Rajaram said that its services were affected by frequent and prolonged power cuts, by the delay in getting electric connection to the exchanges and mobile base stations and damage caused to optical fibre cables due to National Highway widening work and suspected sabotage. Rajaram informed that the telecom authorities were in regular co-ordination with NHAI and State Government to reduce cable damage and sabotage, and had adopted measures like rearrangement of optical fibre cables and systems. The CGM also mentioned that the telecom company was planning to recruit technical hands very soon, which would come as a succour for the unemployed youth of the State.

Tele info service marks dawn of new era in NE tourism
GUWAHATI, May 20 – This could just mark the dawn of a new era in the tourism sector of the Northeast India, as access to any kind of information about Northeast is now just a telephone call away. Be it about tourist hotspots, medical facilities or any other basic amenities of day-to-day life, people can acquaint themselves with the up-to-date information within a couple of minutes. Hello Northeast, a city-based organisation has endevoured to provide all the basic information about the region through tele-media service for the first time in the region. Hello Northeast, which is situated at the city’s Nepali Mandir area, is a wing of S & J Communication Service Private Limited. General Manager, ‘Hello Northeast’, Sankar Samaddar, while informing this correspondent about the utilities of the newly-introduced service, said that the concept is very novel for the people in the region but there is no doubt that it would prove to be an asset for the entire society. “In the present scenario, be it a school boy or a professional, everybody wants to do more things in less time and Hello Northeast would help them in achieving this,” he said.He further informed that ‘Hello Northeast’ can provide maximum inputs regarding the hotels available and also about availability of shopping malls keeping in view the convenience of the caller.“The services of Hello Northeast can be availed from anywhere in the country and it is absolutely free of cost,” he added.On the revenue-earning source of the company, he informed, “ in due course of time, we would register our clients in various forms of business and then would project them to the callers.”“Suppose, if a chain beauty parlour registers themselves with us, then whenever any of our caller enquires about beauty parlour, we will give the said registered parlour preference,” said Samaddar. “People just need to dial our number and our talking guide will reciprocate to their queries immediately,” Sankar pointed out. The service would be provided round the clock.

Witness must for prepaid mobile in NE
NEW DELHI, June 27 – Residents of Jammu and Kashmir and the North East will hereafter be able to get a new pre-paid mobile connection only if they are vouched for by an existing cellular subscriber as part of a Goverment move to make user verification norms foolproof, reports PTI. Department of Telecom allowed pre-paid mobile services in these terrorist-infested states in February for a period of one year. However, with the rising number of fake addresses and identification given by the subscribers, Government fears that terrorists could abuse pre-paid mobile service and walk away scot free. Therefore, it has decided to issue additional instructions to be followed by service providers before giving pre-paid mobile connections in J&K and NE telecom circles. “The application for the prepaid connections should be witnessed by an existing subscriber who must be a regular revenue paying subscriber for at least three preceeding months of the same service provider. “It should have name, address, phone number and signature of the witness,” said the DoT guidelines issued in the first week of June. It is also the responsibility of the service provider to verify telephonically with the witness before activating the new telephone connections. Even the remarks of the witness will be recorded on the application form along with his or her contactable address.Pre-paid mobile connections were allowed earlier this year in J-K and North East, while post paid connections there were allowed earlier. The mobile company also has to randomly verify 10 per cent of the witness within three months from the date of issuing of connection. The mobile subscriber verification drive all over the country has already set the ball rolling for authentic documentation. Now DoT wants service providers to take necessary action to effectively sensitise the public of these states about the misuse of a mobile connection with fake documents, which would attract stringent action, the letter said. – PTI

NEITA to conduct survey on cell phone service
GUWAHATI, June 28 – The North Eastern Information Technology Association (NEITA) will conduct a systematic study of the performance of the different mobile phone operators on the basis of the performance indicators defined by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). “The survey, which we are undertaking following requests from mobile phone users for improving the services, will cover an assessment of the level of satisfaction with the services of the mobile telephone service providers,” NEITA general secretary Monikangkan Baruah said, adding that the NEITA was working on a model to get a comprehensive assessment of the satisfaction of consumers encompassing quality of technical service, quality of operational aspects of gadgets and social/physiological costs due to unsolicited promotional calls/SMSs, etc. Baruah said that the study would be based on random sample survey, series of structured interviews and focused group discussions to be conducted under direct supervision of the NEITA chairman. The analysis will stress on the major reasons of dissatisfaction such as poor quality of signal, call failure, call dropdowns, billing errors, and quality of customer care services. The study is expected to result in the existing operators taking necessary measures for improvement of quality of service. “Besides it will also make the new service providers to adhere to national standards. Service providers paying least attention to maintain TRAI norms and taking the consumers of the North-east for a ride should not be allowed to operate in the region,” Baruah said.

Broadband comes a cropper in Upper Assam
DIBRUGARH, July 27 – Public sector BSNL has promised its customers the moon by advertising “lightning fast internet access through DataOne broadband” and has repeatedly stumbled in providing internet access to DataOne customers. Some of the BSNL broadband subscribers pay as much as Rs 9,000 a month and what they get in return is nightmare, at best. This denial of service ('DoS', in communication terminology) has become chronic in upper Assam in the past few months. DataOne broadband services commenced in the city in November 2005. Ever since, it has ended in a disservice due to an acute shortage of trained manpower to supervise systems integration and help subscribers with network related problems. To add salt to injury, the junior telecom officer deputed to handle DataOne pretends as if there is no problem at all. “Nobody has complained,” he would tell anyone who manages to get his/her call through to him. The non-availability of a properly trained systems and network engineer has also resulted in mishandling of the DSLAM (Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer) equipment here, according to a person who knows about broadband and networking. The senior officials of BSNL here and in Jorhat, the two BSNL ‘district’ headquarters in Upper Assam do try to console subscribers by saying that matters would improve soon. However in reality, matters have only worsened in the last few weeks. Following massive subscribers protests, BSNL today published advertisements in newspapers, where the DoS has reluctantly confessed to. Broadband subscribers have been offered 100 hours of free dial up access to partially cover the DoS. Of course, the BSNL did go through a torrid time earlier this year, when its fibre optic cables were snapped at several places by both mischief mongers and PWD contractors working on highway projects. The snapping of the optical fibre cables led to massive telecommunication outages, and the subscribers understood this, and did not complain. The current broadband outages, it is gathered, is chiefly due to incoherence between man and equipment. Attempts to get clarifications from the BSNL general manager (phone number 2325080) here resulted in a blank, as the phones were (probably) kept off hook today. The deputy general manager's phone (number 2325333) kept ringing, with nobody to take the call.

Quantum jump in NE tele-density
KOHIMA, Aug 2 – The North Eastern region is catching up very fast in telecom expansion with tele-density increasing from 4.15 per cent to 10.11 per cent between January to July this year against the national increase from 16.83 per cent to 19.86 per cent, reports PTI. As the tele-density of North-East was projected at 14.26 per cent by end of this year, BSNL has declared this year as the ‘Year of Telecom for North-East’, DoNER Minister Manishankar Aiyar told newsmen after the conclusion of a two-day 7th North Eastern Council sectoral summit on IT and Telecom here today. Although the hill states recorded impressive expansion, the tele-density network in Assam, however, was only 2.80 per cent during the period, he said. The region recorded more than four per cent increase in broadband services with 13 towns being provided the service. It would be extended to 87 others by March next year, he said. Stating that pre-paid roaming should be allowed in the region, the meeting decided to take up the problem of pre-paid mobile service customers not getting access from outside the North-East with the Union Home and Defence Ministries. The meeting also insisted that the Centre should work towards a ‘One India Plan for Bandwidth’ to lessen the suffering of N-E States as the cost of bandwidth in the region was much higher that the rest of the country. To overcome the problem of laying underground optical fibres in hilly terrain, it was decided that the NEC would fund a master plan to be prepared by Power Grid Corporation to use its network of electric towers and poles for expansion of the overground network cables.As a result of a policy decision, pre-paid mobile phones connections from rest of the country do not work in the North-East and vice-versa. The meeting took a serious note of the security concern for which mobile services were not being allowed in an area within 500 metre of international borders. Consequentially, a large number of people in border areas in the North-East were excluded from the service. The Ministry of DoNER would take up these issues with the ministries concerned. Moreover, the NEC in consultation with BSNL and other service providers would consider having a regional institute for training of technical personnel, preferably at Dimapur, for meeting the requirement of the telecom sector, the meeting resolved.

Teledensity in Assam lowest among NE States
GUWAHATI, Sept 4 – Tele-density in the North East region, particularly in Assam is still much lower than the national average, while, the ban on providing mobile phone services within 500 metres from the international border is still a major issue, which needs immediate attention. According to information provided on the website of the Department for Development of the North Eastern Region (DONER), the tele-density in Assam is only 10.65 percent and it is only 14 per cent in the other States of the region, compared to the national average of 20 percent. The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is still the single largest service provider in the region with a share of 30.86 percent in Assam and more than 48 percent in the other States of the region.Cellular phone services were introduced in the North East after a delay of eight years due to security considerations and no signal is provided within 500 metres from the international border. This restriction, though applicable in the whole country, is particularly harsh on the North Eastern States having long international borders and significant number of people live in the no signal zones. Moreover, mobile phone signals from the neighbouring countries are available within the no signal zones and utilised by unscrupulous and anti-social elements, whereas the law abiding Indian citizens are deprived of mobile phone services. It may be mentioned here that the in recent times, the Border Security Force (BSF) managed to seize a number of mobile sets from smugglers along the international border and majority of them were found to be using the mobile services of Bangladesh.The DONER website said that the Minister in charge of the DONER would take up the issue of restrictions on providing signals within 500 metres with the Union Home and Defence Ministers in the light of the ground situation in the region.The website said that a summit on the issue, held at the behest of the DONER, discussed the key issues relating to the development of the telecommunication sector in the North East and observed that the matter of relaxing the stringent requirements for verification of the identity of the customers should be examined to enable the people to have hassle free and quick connections and the BSNL should try to introduce online billing facility.However, on the positive side, the BSNL has declared the current year as the year of development of telecom network in the NE and an elaborate plan has been chalked out to improve telecom connectivity. The budgetary allocation has also been increased considerably for the BSNL and within this year, the BSNL is planning to add 1.30 lakh fixed line and 11.19 lakh cellular connections. The BSNL is also planning to bring 89 new towns under the broadband map with an addition of 1.35 lakh connections. The BSNL is also planning to install village public telephones in more than three thousand villages of the region within the current financial year.The summit also expressed concern at the quality of services provided as the networks often face congestions, while, roaming facility is not provided to the cellular phone customers having pre-paid connections due to security reasons. Most of the service providers also face problems in getting permissions to lay cables and in getting land for installing base trans-receiver stations. Electricity supply and its quality are some of major issues and the condition of the roads also hampers transportation of materials. Frequent bandhs and road blockades also lead to time overrun and cost escalation.

:: Mobile Communication in Guwahati ::
CDMA facility is not available in Guwahati or in any other part of Assam. Only GSM/GPRS facility is available. The service providers in Guwahati are BSNL, Reliance, Airtel and Aircel.


Network problem hits internet banking
UDALGURI, Sept 15 – The newly introduced internet banking system (core banking) here at Udalguri branch of State Bank of India is alleged to have been harassing more than 10,000 customers including the business class and the pension account holders. The newly introduced core banking facility itself proved to be a hurdle to the customers of the bank as the bank itself has been fighting with the network problem during the busy hours. As a result, customers of the bank for transaction, were seen making a curious long queues in front of the four transaction counters of the bank with a hope to get access to the payment counters. But the frequent network failure has created headache not only to the account holders, but bank employees too are seen feeling helpless to see the longer queues of its customers who throng the bank, mostly the government employees from various disciplines for their monthly salaries.Udalguri being the district head quarter of any transaction in the State Bank of India from all nook and corners the government employees have to come to the branch for their monthly salaries even leaving their important official duties on their respective tables creating another hazard in the respective government offices and educational institutions. The Conscious Citizens’ Forum, an NGO of Udalguri town has demanded to the SBI authority either to expand the present location of the branch at Udalguri or to shift the bank to any other place within Udalguri town having a spacious location and start the ATM service at the earliest.Meanwhile, it is learnt that the SBI authority is going to start the much awaited ATM service from this September, but the date of opening the service is yet to be ascertained by the concerned bank authority.Talking to this correspondent at the crowded bank premises here at Udalguri branch of SBI on Tuesday, a government employee from Panery area of Udalguri district said in quite a frustrated mood that he had been standing in the queue since the bank started its transaction in the morning but the network failure of the internet had forced him to stick to the queue till closure time of the bank and yet he failed to withdraw his salary. Krishna Bhattarai of Orang told this correspondent that after standing in the queue for more than two hours with a hope to get an access to the payment counter, the network failure compelled him to return home bare handed.Meanwhile, a member of the SBI employees union informed that the customers will have to face this problem for a week or two until the system of networking starts functioning normally. He also appealed to the customers to bear with the bank employees for the problem was not created by them but it was a technical problem related to the network connection.

Lack of planning, infrastructure hits Upper Assam
BSNL service DIBRUGARH, Oct 6 – BSNL’s general manager of the Dibrugarh Telecom District, A K Maity admitted that bad planning and lack of adequate infrastructure has caused the Broadband logjam and mobile phone fiasco in the upper Assam area. He, however added that the situation is likely to increase towards the end of this year with certain improvements that are in the pipeline.Maity told reporters at the news conference here on Thursday that with the availing of additional bandwidth from Oil India’s optical fibre cable, Broadband problems would be sorted out to some extent. While the existing Broadband subscribers in the Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts find it difficult to log-in and use the Internet, BSNL wants to make Broadband available at all telephone exchanges of the two districts within this year. The resultant chaos can just be imagined. The existing thousand Broadband subscribers are facing hell in accessing the Net, one could just guess what will be the scene like when 5,000 more subscribers are hooked on to the same infrastructure, with cosmetic modifications.Maity said the OIL fibre would be utilised from November this year to ease the situation in upper Assam. The BSNL engineers here are awaiting the arrival of DWDM multiplexers to hook on to the OIL network.For smooth Broadband access, it was necessary for BSNL to have a node in Dibrugarh, given the high demand for bandwidth here. But in BSNL’s wisdom, all that is planned for the foreseeable future is a Tier-I cut-off at Jorhat, with Tier-II connectivity between Jorhat and Dibrugarh on an STM-1 link. The better option would have been to go for a Tier-I link between Guwahati and Dibrugarh with at least two STM-16 connectivity. Maity agreed this was a viable proposal, but was non committal on such a connectivity.On the other hand, the BSNL general manager preferred to lay the blame for poor Internet and mobile phone service to “acts of sabotage” on the optical fibre cable by miscreants as well as PWD contractors engaged in road widening works. The BSNL official had some good news for the tea industry. Those in the remote tea gardens of upper Assam can now access “high speed Internet” from WLL phones, following the improvement of the fixed wireless switch system. On such a link, a subscriber can access the Internet at a theoretical 144 kbps (18 KBps) in the best of times. However, such subscribers can expect stable connectivity, though speed may remain a contentious issue. This is because the packet data access system will be independent of the voice calling mechanism, and the WLL Internet access will be directly from a main switching centre and not routed through the local WLL exchange, a technology that is somewhat similar to DIAS. WLL Internet access based on CDMA 2000 1X technology promises stable connects and a wee bit faster than dial-up. The major advantage of this is its wireless connectivity between the WLL BTS and the subscriber, eliminating the risk of line and cable cuts between these two points. BSNL mobile telephony in upper Assam is expected to improve in the coming months, but the enhanced network, aided by about a hundred new BTS stations, is doomed to be jammed immediately, as the company also intends to release one lakh new connections in the Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts. That is, provided one lakh more citizens are willing to take the pain of trying to access an overburdened network.

Ambitious plans by Nagaon telecom
NAGAON, Oct 11 – The Nagaon Telecom District has prepared an ambitious plan for 2007-08 to provide 50,000 GSM mobile connections under phase IV double plus and another 70,000 connections under phase V with 3G mobile services plan. It has also planned to install 64 line broadband at all remaining exchanges falling under Nagaon SSA while broadband triple play services has been already installed at Jagiroad, Hojai, Lumding, Diphu, Raha and Bokajan. The telecom district has also a plan for 300 km OFC laying and providing 15000 WLL connections besides opening 15 BTS exchanges.According to Nagaon Telecom District sources, telephone density of Nagaon SSA has reached a little over 48 per thousand population and growth rate of telephone facility per hundred is 9.87. There are one lakh eighty-seven thousand five hundred sixty subscribers under Nagaon Secondary Switching Area. In Nagaon SSA, 3896 VPTs and 78 GMS BTS with different BSC Guwahati, Jorhat and Tezpur are working. There are 256 Broadband connections in Nagaon and Morigaon districts and 01 National Internet backbone with CLI based internet facility. The telecom district has customer service centres at nine places and a number of franchisees.The district has three revenue districts under its jurisdiction. By September 30 last, the SSA has given one lakh twenty thousand three hundred seventy-six mobile connections out of which 51799 are post-paid and 68577 are pre-paid connection. Karbi Anglong district has 11326 post-paid and 10824 pre-paid, Morigaon has 6793 and 7192 post-paid and pre-paid while Nagaon has 51799 and 68577 post-paid and pre-paid connections respectively. Karbi Anglong, Morigaon and Nagaon districts have 7492, 6603 and 35093 DELs and 4804, 3369 and 9819 WLL connections respectively.

Rural exchanges to have broad band services by next year
TEZPUR, Oct 18 – “Having the philosophy of ‘connecting people-connecting India’ BSNL has been providing connectivity facility to the people of India and we have been trying our best to provide better services to the people covering all section of the society,” said MF Ansari, general manager BSNL, Tezpur while speaking in a meting with the customers and press held her at Tezpur BSNL office complex recently on the occasion of the BSNL Day.Addressing the people present there Ansari expressed that BSNL is seeking overall improvement and fast development of BSNL’s telecom services in the five districts, viz Udalguri, Darrang, Dhemaji, Lakhimpur and Sonitpur. Over the last one year the mobile services have been improved by augmentation of capacities of all BTSs. In his speech, he said that broadband services have been launched at Tezpur town and soon will be launched in Dhekiajuli, B Chariali, Mangaldoi, North Lakhimpur, Udalguri in the first phase. In the second phase all the block head quarter level exchanges will get broadband services and by next year all the rural exchanges will get covered by broad band services.For PCO holders the new technology of Fixed Line Pre-Paid (FLPP) has been launched which is available from Tezpur main Exchange and its dependent RSU at Dhekiajuli, Rangapara, Balipara, Mission Chariali, Napam, Parvati Nagar and Old Telephone Exchange. Under this scheme the existing land line PCO holders can convert to the pre-paid mode and earn good commission without the hastle of bill collection and payment.While talking about the GSM service, the official asserted that GSM PCO SIM has also been launched recently. The SIM is available to the prospective franchisee free. The PCO franchisee will have to arrange himself a CCB PCO machine or PCO monitor. ITC and Call Now cards are available which is very convenient way of making long distance calls at very cheap rates. He further added that on the development of GSM mobile network during the current year BSNL has targeted to cover villages up to 1000 population in the forthcoming order total 20 new BTSs have been added. In the next order 50 new BTSs will be installed in the SSA. On WLL technology there is new Integrated Fixed Wireless Terminals (IFWT) is being supplied on which Internet and Fax facility will be possible, also PCO facility will be available. In the new technology will BTS area, now the customers can use BSNL’s Wireless Data Card (NIL) card for accessing Internet from Laptop at 144 kbps speed.Admitting the defects of BSNL the official said that they are facing stiff competition from their competitors and they are ready to take the challenge, however, due to some unethical practice and deliberate sabotage of BSNL’s long distance network of optical fibre they are facing tremendous difficulties in maintaining telecom service in remote areas as Lakhimpur and Dhemaji. It is observed that miscreants are deliberately cutling the OFC cables of BSNL at several places in one night and repeating the crime day after day sometimes consecutively also.

SMS, e-mails prime campaign tools
GUWAHATI, Nov 20 – Though the Supreme Court has banned the excess use of money in the college polls by categorically restricting printing of placards and other campaigning materials in printed form, students of prestigious Cotton College, have, however, found a innovative way to add teeth to their vote campaign for the ensuing Cotton College Union Society polls scheduled for November 22. Emerging out of the shadow of television reality shows, SMS and e-mails have now donned the role of a prime tool of campaigning for all the candidates in fray for various posts of the CCUS.“As only couple of days are left for the union poll, we have started sending SMS and e-mails to almost every one. In the next 24- hour, e-mails will be sent on a much larger scale. We have a large database of students and are collecting more information,” says Pragyan Bhuyan, one of the prime candidates for the post of CCUS general secretary. “My friends have started sending e-mails and SMS since monetary constraints has been imposed on the candidates this year by the apex court. But, as not every one in the college have the access to Internet facilities, we would also go for a man-to-man approach,” he asserted, while adding, “ My supporters have been consistently sending SMS urging to our hostel and class mates urging them to forward it further.”It may be mentioned here that the Supreme Court’s Lyngdoh committee, in order to keep off the influence of money, muscle power and political influence from college polls, have restricted the campaigning expenditure to Rs 5,000. “’I have been involved in different kind of welfare work for the students of our College. I have not just emerged during the time of elections,” claims Pragyan.Another candidate Bhaskar Jyoti Bhuyan, who is vying for the post of CCUS vice president, when asked, said, “ I have myself sent around 5,00 SMSs to my friends. Besides, I have also sent e-mails to a host of friends, especially girls, who are inclined towards surfing Internet more than guys.” Meanwhile, election fever has reached its zenith and supporters of different candidates in fray are organising small but noisy rallies.

Cyber crimes grip city life
GUWAHATI, Dec 12 – Soma Ali and Geetika Barman (names changed), two higher secondary students of premier college of the city, are passing sleepless nights these days.For, the duo, both regular surfers at the popular website ‘Orkut’, is getting numerous phone calls and emails by unknown persons using abusive and derogatory language.Little did they realise that this was the outcome of their bid to revive their relations with old friends through ‘Orkut.’ Stunningly, these two girls were projected as ‘sex workers’ by some anti-social elements in a couple of community sites including ‘Orkut’, making mockery of the stringent cyber laws.In fact, this is not a one-off incident in the State where women from Assam are being projected in poor light. Already facing the wrath of an increasing number of crimes against them, the fairer sex population in Assam is now being pitted against this form of harassment in considerable numbers, thanks to the rising application of the technological boons, which are making fast inroads into the society.The Court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate (Kamrup) recently entertained a case, where an Assamese housewife complained of a similar telephonic harassment, after her picture along with other details of her and few other ladies were pasted in an ‘Orkut’ profile.“She is now receiving calls from across the world. She initially reported the incident to the local police station but to no effect, as the police too, by and large, is ignorant of such forms of crime,” informed a senior official of Criminal Investigation Department while talking to The Assam Tribune.“Women, especially school and college-going girls from Assam, in large numbers have been projected as sex workers in various community websites such as ‘Orkut’ by anti-social elements, which has now created ripples amongst the law enforcing agencies in the State,” conceded the official.In the capital city itself, girl students of premier college and schools in Guwahati, according to sources, have reportedly found their pictures introduced as ‘sex workers’ along with their phone numbers and other details pasted in the popular community site ‘Orkut’ The Criminal Investigation Department (CID), in the last few months, has come across a host of such cases and is now initiating efforts to put a curb on them.“These anti-social elements, of course, without the knowledge of the victims are resorting to such offences in increasing numbers and this crime seemed to be catching up among youths, who might be doing it for fun,” the senior CID official said. “No doubt, community sites like ‘Orkut’ have kept a provision for deleting such account which deals in such abusive affairs but for that the victim is required to report to the Orkut website, but very few account holders are aware of this provision,” the official divulged.

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