Guwahati, Saturday, September 25, 2010
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Service provider ropes in experts
Staff Reporter
 GUWAHATI, Sept 24 – Following bizarre incidents of people receiving injuries due to 'bursting' of cell phones in the State, a leading mobile service provider has roped in experts to carry out a thorough investigation.

"We are concerned about the developments and experts from Delhi have been roped in to probe the incidents," a senior official of a leading mobile service provider told The Assam Tribune.

The incidents, confined to the State, have caused concern not only among the cell phone users but also the service providers and the cell phone companies operating in the State.

Guwahati reported its first such case when a person of city's Nalapara area (near Games Village) identified as Manik Sarkar (23) became unconscious while he was talking on his cell phone last night. Sarkar was immediately rushed to the Guwahati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) by a '108' emergency ambulance where he is still said to be under treatment.

A '108' official said that they got the call at 9-09 pm and reached the scene at 9-35 pm after which he was administered oxygen and taken to the GMCH.

Two similar incidents were reported today from Rangiya and Lokrabarnagar in Baksa today. Moromi Begum of Pub Sahan area under Rangiya police station became unconscious after she attended a call on her mobile phone around 4-25 pm today.

'108' sources said that Begum got a severe shock and her right ear suffered damages, affecting her sense of hearing. She was admitted to the Rangiya CHC.

A senior Assam Police official, when asked, said that the electric shocks might be the result of defective battery of the cell phones and there is a bleak chance of any software being used to trigger the electric shock.

He went on to inform that reputed cell phone companies had issued advertisement around a year back offering to replace batteries free of cost as some had manufacturing defect.

Meanwhile, a number of SMSes are doing the rounds for the last few days warning people not to receive any calls from five specific numbers. The SMSes claimed that these specified numbers come in red colour.

The scientific community, meanwhile, ruled out any 'external factor' in the incidents, asserting that the reasons behind the ‘blasts’ or ‘current shocks’ were either defective batteries or defective handsets or both.

"The incidents can be explained by defects in battery, handsets or in both," Kandarpa Kumar Sarma, Reader in Dept of Electronics, Gauhati University, said. He urged the people not to get panicky by the media hype exaggerating the incidents.

Sarma also said that cheap Chinese handsets or batteries were often of poor quality and could develop defects easily.

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