SRINAGAR – The gag on all means of communication, including mobile and internet service of all Cellular companies, completed two months on Thursday, badly affecting several sectors, including IT professionals, students and journalists, in Kashmir, where people are protesting against scrapping of Article 370 and Article 35 A, besides bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories.
Due to the gag on communication, people in the valley have also failed to avail benefits from the annual festive season sales of e-commerce giants Amazon and Flipkart.
However, restoration of landline phones in the first week of September in Kashmir valley after the service was suspended on August 5 brought some relief to the people, who could not contact their dear ones within and outside the valley due to total communication blackout. Pertinently landline connections are limited in numbers as most people had surrendered them with the arrival of mobile phones.
Mobile network of all Cellular companies, including BSNL, besides internet remained suspended for the past two months on Thursday in the valley, badly hitting on-line editions of local newspapers, journalists, students and other professionals.
Many professionals, dependent on internet, have already migrated to outside the state, fearing loss of jobs due to their inability to work for the past two months. “I am leaving today to Delhi and work from my office based in the national capital. I have not received salary for the past two months, and with no immediate sign of restoration of internet, I have decided to leave the valley,” Irfan Saleem, a medical transcriptor based in Delhi, told UNI.
Saleem said he is reluctant to leave his family behind at a time of unrest in the valley, but has no option left.
Similarly views were given by other people, including IT professionals, programmers and web designers.
Meanwhile, other sector — including courier service, insurance sector and automobile sector, were also badly hit due to gag on communication.
The communication network was suspended across Kashmir valley, including Srinagar, on August 5 as a precautionary measure to prevent rumours after the special status of the state was scrapped. Suspension of the communication — landline, mobile and internet — network evoked sharp reaction, particularly from the families whose relatives were outside the valley.
It was in the last week of August that landlines were restored to subscribers connected with Barzulla and Sonawar telephone exchanges. Landlines phones of subscribers, including all media organizations, from main BSNL telephone exchange were restored only on September 5.
Due to suspension of internet service, journalists working for different media organizations, including News Agencies, were badly hit. However, later administration set up a media facilitation centre at Sonawar in the city, where journalists are filing their stories to their respective media organizations. (Agencies)