J&K Govt Lifts SMS Ban After 5 Months

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SRINAGAR – The J&K administration on Tuesday announced that SMS services will be restored in the Kashmir Valley from midnight, adding that broadband internet services will also become operational in all government-run hospitals.

The restoration of these services comes five months after their suspension following the Centre’s move to strip the state of its special status under Article 370 of the Indian constitution.

“It has been decided to restore internet connectivity to all government hospitals with effect from midnight December 31, 2019,” Rohit Kansal, Principal Secretary, J&K, told media persons.

Kansal further said that the short messaging services (SMS) on mobile phones will also be restored in Kashmir Valley from midnight.

On Monday, five political leaders belonging to National conference (NC), Congress and PDP were released after five months in detention.

Jammu and Kashmir had been under a lockdown ever since the Centre revoked Article 370 in August 2019. The administration lifted restrictions on the movement of people and telecommunication services gradually, but internet services still remain suspended.

The government has often justified its decision saying the internet was being used by anti-social elements to spread rumours and create a ruckus in the state.

Three former chief ministers — NC’s Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah and PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti — are still under detention.

While senior Abdullah was slapped with the stringent Public Safety Act on September 17 and remains confined to his residence, Omar Abdullah and Mufti are under detention at different locations in the city.

Mufti was recently shifted to a government accommodation in the city from a tourist hut located at the foothills of Zaberwan range.

The PSA of Abdullah was reviewed on December 15 and it was agreed that he would continue to remain in detention for another 90 days.  (Agencies)

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