Voice Calls Restored; SMS, Mobile Internet Remain Shut in Kashmir


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Srinagar: Authorities on Friday tightened restrictions across Kashmir Valley even as mobile vice calls were restored late in the night while mobile internet continued to remain shut in the Kashmir Valley on the third day following the killing of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen Commander Riyaz Naikoo along with associate in a gunfight on May 6.

Barring minor clashes in Beighpora Awantipora in Pulwama district, the home town of the slain commander and Nasrullahpora Budgam, the situation remained peaceful across Kashmir Valley, the officials said.

Reports said there a group of protesters pelted stones on deployments of police and paramilitary forces at Beighpora and adjoining areas. However, police and paramilitary forces chased them away by firing few teargas canisters. However there were no reports about any serious injury to anyone in the incident.

Naikoo and his associate Adil Ahmad were killed in an encounter in Beighpora on Wednesday following which authorities snapped mobile telephone and Internet services in the Valley.

Inspector General of Police Kashmir Vijay Kumar told reporters here that the measure has been taken as a precautionary measure to prevent problems of “law and order”. He said that the services would be restored as and when situation improves and a decision in this regard would be taken at a review meeting.

Soon after the news about Naikoo’s killing spread, restrictions were also imposed in most parts of the Valley including this summer capital of J&K.

Even though the Kashmir is under the coronavirus lockdown from last 49 days, additional police and paramilitary forces personnel have been deployed in many sensitive and vulnerable areas of the valley for ensuring peace, they said.

One civilian was killed and at least 25 people suffered injuries after government forces alleged resorted to live ammunition and fired pellets to disperse protesters in Awantipora soon after Naikoo’s killing. 16 of the injured were shifted to SMHS hospital in Srinagar and four suffered bullet while 12 others had pellet injuries.

Barring Pulwama, Cellular Services Restored

Meanwhile mobile voice calls services were restored by the government on Friday night after remaining suspended for three days in the Kashmir Valley. However, the SMS and internet services remained suspended across Kashmir.

Only Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) mobile phone and landline services were working in the Valley, where curfew-like restrictions remained imposed in some areas to maintain law and order.

However, the government on late Friday night restored the services across Kashmir barring Pulwama district in South Kashmir.




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