March 20, 2020 11:43 pm

Virus Scare: Hurriyat Resurfaces After 7 Months

Mirwaiz Umer Farooq - File Pic

Srinagar - The Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday demanded restoration of 4G internet facilities, shifting of political prisoners from outside jails and an immediate ban on the entry of non-locals and foreign tourists to Kashmir in view of coronavirus pandemic.

"In view of this global health crisis (coronavirus) that has spread to the valley, 4G internet facility should be immediately restored," the Hurriyat said in a statement.

It also sought immediate release of all Kashmiri prisoners languishing in various jails across India, on humanitarian grounds as their well-being is under threat in wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

"Crowded jails are most vulnerable in the spread of the virus among inmates, which is a matter of grave concern," it added.

The Hurriyat said the authorities should impose a ban on entry of non-locals and foreign tourists to Kashmir immediately.

"Given the widespread negative impact of the corona virus disease (for which it was declared pandemic), authorities must impose an immediate ban on the entry of non-locals and foreign tourists to Kashmir," it said.

Internet services were suspended in Jammu and Kashmir on August 5 last year, hours before the Centre announced the abrogation of Article 370.

While 2G services on postpaid mobile phones and Broadband and lease-line services were restored months later, the 4G services continued to remain suspended.

The government in a recent order said the low speed internet will continue in the Union Territory till March 26 "in the interests of sovereignty and integrity" of the country.

The pro-freedom amalgam expressed concern over the alarming situation arising out of coronavirus across the world and appealed to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to strictly follow the preventive measures and guidelines as suggested by medical experts and concerned agencies.

The Hurriyat urged people to stay indoors to contain the virus and prevent its spread so that precious human lives are saved.

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