Millions of mobile phone customers in India have had their services disconnected in an attempt by the government to fight back against perceived security threats.
Any mobile lacking the all-important IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number has been denied access to cellular networks.
The IMEI number is designed to help trace lost or stolen phones, as well as highlighting mobiles which require monitoring.
It is possible to keep track of a single handset which possesses an IMEI number even if the network provider is frequently switched by the owner.
The Indian authorities ordered mobile phone network providers within the country to cut off any mobile which did not have an IMEI number corresponding to the network in question.
Low cost mobiles shipped in from China are the main target of this action and an estimated 20 million phones of this kind are believed to be circulating within India.
The use of these untraceable phones by terrorist organisations is thought to pose a significantly serious security problem for the Indian authorities.
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