Postpaid mobile services to resume across J&K from October 14


NEW DELHI: All post-paid mobiles will start functioning across all areas of Jammu & Kashmir from Monday, principal secretary in J&K government Rohit Kansal announced at a press conference in Srinagar on Saturday. While voice calls and SMS shall be enabled, mobile internet will remain barred for now.
The lifting of ban on mobile communication in the Valley comes days after the J&K government withdrew its advisory issued in early August, urging tourists to leave the state as a precautionary measure.
Cellphone services in J&K were suspended ahead of abrogation of Article 370 in J&K, as part of a general lockdown imposed to prevent Pakistan-backed terrorists from disturbing peace and inflicting casualties on civilians. They were subsequently restored in Jammu and Ladakh regions and in Kupwara district of Kashmir.
Monday onwards, cellphones services — both of state-owned BSNL and private service providers — will be up and running across all 10 districts of Kashmir.
“With this step, tourists will be able to visit the state without being handicapped by the lack of phone connectivity, students can be in touch with parents while attending schools, businessmen can be in touch with customers, transporters can contact clients, and contractors can be in touch with staff,” said Kansal.
Sources said the J&K police and security forces are geared up to tackle any eventuality on account of restoration of mobile communication, including heightened terrorist activity and attempts by Pakistan-backed separatist elements to mobilise crowds for violent protests.
“The government urges businessmen, industrialists, traders, transporters, shopkeepers, hoteliers and contractors not to be frightened by the threats of terrorists and separatists and go about their normal activities. The government is firm in its resolve that the attempts of these disruptive elements will be foiled. The government thanks the people of Jammu & Kashmir for being cooperative and helping in maintaining peace and public order,” the J&K government said in a statement.
Appreciating the patience of the people of J&K, the statement noted: “It is a tribute, both to the people of Jammu & Kashmir and to the security forces, that these measures have ensured that there is no unnecessary loss of life in Jammu & Kashmir. This is remarkable, given the history of events in 2008, 2010 & 2016. Some killings and injuries have been inflicted by terrorists, including on a baby, to prevent traders, businessmen and transporters from doing their normal business”.
Since August 16, there has been a gradual and phased removal of the restrictions and by the first week of September, most restrictions were removed. Barring 8-10 police stations, movement restrictions have been completely lifted, said a J&K government press release. Over 99% of the area of Jammu & Kashmir has no restrictions on movement, it added.
Besides, the release said landline phones were fully restored and are functional for over six weeks now. Mobile phone facilities were restored in Jammu and Ladakh and subsequently in Kupwara district. Media was facilitated through the media centre equipped with all facilities.
Primary and middle schools were gradually reopened in August and universities, colleges and higher secondary schools reopened over the last 10 days. Examination schedules have been announced. Air services are operating normally, said the J&K government.
People inconvenienced by restrictions were facilitated, as per the government release. Haj yatris were helped in their travels. 25 internet kiosks are operating in each district in the DC office to help students, contractors and government departments to carry out their functions. Students have been using this facility to apply for exams, download admission cards, etc.
“Tourists are welcome to visit the state and they will be facilitated for their visit. Internet facilities are being opened in tourist places to assist tourists wanting to access internet,” said the J&K government spokesperson.


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