Mobile phones in Kashmir to ring again from Oct 14

Rohit Kansal, J&K Principal secretary. (ANI Photo)

After a communication blockade for 70-days, post the abrogation of Article 370, post-paid mobile services in Kashmir Valley are going to resume from Monday.

Jammu and Kashmir government spokesperson Rohit Kansal on Saturday said that after reviewing the situation, a decision has been taken to restore mobile phone facilities in Kashmir from Monday.

"All post-paid mobile phones, irrespective of the telecom service provider, will be functional 12 noon on Monday. This will cover all 10-districts of Kashmir province," he said while addressing a presser, here.

“Through this step, tourists will be able to visit the state without being handicapped by the lack of phone connectivity; students will be in touch with parents while attending the school," the spokesperson said.

The valley has nearly 66 lakh mobile subscribers out of which nearly 40 lakh subscribers have post-paid facilities.

Kansal, who was flanked by Div Com and IGP Kashmir, urged traders, businessmen, transporters and hoteliers not to be frightened by any threats from militants and separatists and go about by their normal activities. "The government is firm in its resolve that the attempts of peace disruptive elements will be foiled,” he said.

The mobile and Internet services in Jammu and Kashmir were shut down on August 5 after the Centre announced the abrogation of the special status guaranteed to the state under Article 370 of the Constitution. Partial fixed-line telephony was resumed in the valley on August 17, and by September 4 all landlines, numbering nearly 50,000, were declared operational.

Defending the decision to impose restrictions and communication blockade in the Valley after August 5, Kansal said, "It is now well established that there have been sustained attempts from across the border both in the past and more so in the last two months to promote militancy and terrorism in J&K."

"It is also a fact that the attempts from across the border to disturb the normal life continues. Credible inputs continue to be received of the likelihood of large-scale terrorist attacks. These attacks are meant not only to cause large scale damage to life and property but also create an atmosphere of fear and terror among the people of J&K, the vast majority of whom are peace-loving,” the spokesperson said.

Kansal said that banned militants organisations like Lashker-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideencontinue to make attempts to terrorize the people. "It was in the anticipation of this that restrictions were imposed so that externally aided terrorism doesn’t lead to the loss of innocent lives," he added.

Asked when the Internet services will be resumed, Kansal said, "Subscribers will have to wait for some more time for the Internet services to resume fully across the Valley."

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