After 70 days mobile phones start ringing in Kashmir again

15 Octobre, 2019, 08:45 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • The full front-page government ad in the Greater Kashmir daily

Mobile phone networks were restored in Indian Kashmir on Monday after a 72-day blackout, authorities said, but the internet remains off-limits to the region's seven million-plus people.

The central government had ended Jammu and Kashmir's special status on August 5 and bifurcated it into two union territories.

The Indian government on Saturday announced that all post paid mobile phone will be restored on October 14, 70 days after a communication blockade was put in place in disputed Kashmir.

The state administration has been examining various options with regard to suspension of mobile phone services which have come in for severe criticism for causing hardships to some seven million residents of the Valley. "At least we can get in touch with our loved ones".

He added that the Jammu and Kashmir government has fully restored landlines and is functioning for over six weeks.

Iltija Mufti said that without internet people could not pay their mobile phone bills, "so what's the point of opening mobile lines?"

Locals connected with the tourist industry have been demanding restoration of mobile phones so that they can ensure bookings and contact clients who intend to visit the valley. In absence of any connectivity, students also have suffered a great deal.

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India stripped its portion of the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley of statehood and autonomy on August 5, cutting internet and phone lines and arresting thousands in an attempt to dampen dissent.

Hoteliers and other people associated with travel trade are optimistic about the road ahead.

After colleges, faculties and universities have been reopened within the valley, there was little or no attendance of scholars in these establishments.

Furthermore, on September 4, more than 50,000 landline phones were declared operational in Kashmir.

Restrictions on movement of people have been lifted in "over 99 per cent" areas of Jammu and Kashmir, state government spokesperson Rohit Kansal said. Broadband services must be restored in Kashmir at the earliest so that the gradual coming of normalcy will also shut the mouths of those who are intent on internationalizing the Kashmir issue.

However, there is no official word on restoration of internet facility which continues to remain suspended since August 5.

The authorities have relaxed some curbs, but mobile and internet communications in the Kashmir Valley are largely still blocked.

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