Partial Lifting of Mobile Phone Ban, Internet Blackout to Continue


Representational Pic

SRINAGAR –Governor administration on Saturday announced lifting of the ban on post paid mobile phone services in the Kashmir Valley from Monday 12 noon. The ban on pre-paid mobile phone services however will remain.

The spokesperson of Jammu and Kashmir government, Rohit Kansal announced partial lifting of the ban at a press conference in Srinagar. He refused to give a date on lifting the nearly three month long blanket bar on pre-paid phones or internet services in the Kashmir Valley.

The ban was imposed on August 04, 2019, a day before Kashmir was scrapped of its special status.

Kansal, who was accompanied by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Khan and Inspector General of Police, Kashmir range, S.P Pani told media persons that a decision has been taken to restore mobile phone facilities in all the remaining areas of Jammu and Kashmir, more specifically all post paid mobile phones, irrespective of telecom services provider, will stand restored and be functional from 12 noon on Monday, 14 October 2019, which will cover all the ten districts of valley.

He said that the government has gradually lifted most of the restrictions, which were imposed on 5th August 2019, after the abrogation of Article 370 and 35-A.

While referring to steps taken by the government with regard to facilitate connectivity to the needy people during the clampdown period, he said, “Landline phones have were restored in Jammu and Ladakh and subsequently in Kupwara district, media was facilitated through Media Center, equipped with all facilities. 25 internet kiosks were operating in each district in the DC offices to help students, contractors, and government departments to carry on their functions.”

“Students have been using the facility to apply for exams and to download admission forms”, he added.

While thanking people of Jammu and Kashmir and paying a tribute to them and the security forces for maintaining peace, during past more than two months of lockdown, he alleged, “There have sustained attempts from across the border, both in past and more so in the last two months to promote militancy and terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir in order to create a sense fear and terror among the people and keep the place under disturbed condition.”

Kansal claimed that imposition of restrictions was inevitable for government to save the public life and property.

He said,”These measures have ensured that there was no unnecessary loss of life in J&K, which is remarkable , given the history of events in 2008, 2010  and 2016.”

“Since 16th August there has been gradual removal of restrictions and by the first week of September, barring 8 to 10 police stations, movement restrictions have been completely removed and 99% of the area of Jammu and Kashmir has no restrictions on movement”, he said.

Pointing towards the easing up the restriction, Rohit Kansal said, “Schools were gradually reopened since August and the universities, colleges and higher secondary schools were reopened in the last 10 days. Examination schedules have been announced, air services are operating normally and air booking has been facilitated in Srinagar with new counters and Hajj Pilgrims were helped in their travel.”

“To help fruit growers an ambitious market intervention scheme was launched by the Central Government through NAFED and Horticulture department, with revised prices for all qualities of apples”, he added

This week travel advisory to tourists, issued in August 2019 was lifted. Tourists will be facilitated with internet at various tourist places.”

While urging the businessmen, industrialists, traders, transporters, shopkeepers, hoteliers, and contractors not to be frightened by the threats of militants and separatists and to go about their normal life, he said, “Militant organizations such as Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen continue to make attempts to terrorize people, but they won’t be successful in their attempts as the government is ready to deal with any situation.”

The government is firm in its resolve that the attempts of these disruptive elements will be foiled”, he said.

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