Srinagar: In a major step to normalise the life in Jammu & Kashmir, the government has decided to resume the mobile phone services which remained suspended following abrogation of the special status granted to the state under Article 370.The mobile services would be restored from October 14 noon.
According to the J&K government statement, “Having reviewed the situation in Jammu & Kashmir, a decision has been taken to restore mobile phone facilities in all the remaining areas of Jammu & Kashmir. More specifically, all post-paid mobile phones, irrespective of the telecom service provider, will stand restored and be functional from 12 noon on Monday, 14 October 2019. This will cover all 10 districts of Kashmir province”.
Notably, on October 10 the government had lifted security advisory on Kashmir bound tourists assuring all necessary assistance and logistical support to them.
The statement said, “Tourists will be able to visit the state without being handicapped by the lack of phone connectivity, students can be in touch with parents while attending schools, businessmen can be in touch with customers, transporters can contact clients, and contractors can be in touch with staff”.
While urging businessmen, industrialists, traders, transporters, shopkeepers, hoteliers and contractors not to be afraid of threats by terrorists and separatists and go about their normal activities, the statement said, “The government is firm in its resolve that the attempts of these disruptive elements will be foiled”.
The government also thanked the people of J&K for being cooperative and helping in maintaining peace and public order.
Following the abolition of Article 370, a number of restrictions were imposed from 4 August, 2019 in order to prevent externally aided terrorists from disturbing peace and inflicting casualties on innocent citizens.
The statement said, “It is now a well established fact that there have been sustained attempts from across the border, both in the past and more so in the last two months, to promote militancy and terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir in order to create a sense of fear and terror among the people and keep the place in a disturbed condition. It is also a fact that the attempts from across the border to disturb normal life continue. ”
Credible inputs continue to be received of the likelihood of large-scale terrorist attacks, sponsored by forces inimical to the nation and from outside its borders. These terrorist attacks are meant not only to cause large scale damage to life and property but also create an atmosphere of fear and terror among the people of Jammu & Kashmir, the vast majority of whom are peace loving,” the statement said.
Banned organisations such as Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Hizbul Mujahideen continue to make attempts to terrorise the people of Jammu & Kashmir. It was in anticipation of this that the restrictions were imposed so that externally aided terrorism does not lead to a loss of innocent lives. It is a tribute, both to the people of Jammu & Kashmir and security forces, that these measures have ensured that there is no unnecessary loss of life in Jammu & Kashmir, the statement added.
Since 16 August, there has been a gradual removal of the restrictions that were imposed and by the first week of September, most restrictions were removed. Barring 8-10 Police Stations, movement restrictions have been completely removed. Over 99% of the area of Jammu & Kashmir has no restrictions on movement. Telephone landlines have been fully restored and are functioning for over six weeks. Mobile phone facilities were restored in Jammu and Ladakh and subsequently in two Kupwara district.
The statement added, “Schools were gradually reopened since August and 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 in the city”.