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news details
Postpaid mobile phones restore after 10 weeks, internet remains suspended
10/14/2019 10:34:45 PM

Early Times Report

Srinagar, Oct 14: Postpaid mobile phone service was on Monday restored after remaining suspended for 10 weeks in Kashmir valley, where prepaid mobile connectivity and internet service remained suspended since August 5, when centre scrapped Article 370 and 35 A, besides divided the state into two union territories.
People, including those connected with tourism industry and media persons welcomed the restoration of postpaid service but demanded restoration of internet service of all Cellular companies, including broadband.
However, some elderly persons said suspension of the mobile and internet service was blessing in disguise as it helped people to visit their relatives physically instead of confirming their welfare on phones.
Authorities have announced that internet facilities will be provided at tourist destinations for tourists in the valley, where government withdraw advisory to tourists, who were asked to leave the valley two days before scrapping special status of the state on August 5.
Centre suspended landlines, mobile and internet service of all Cellular companies, including Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) on August 5 as a precautionary measure. However, landlines were restored in a phased manner in the valley after more than a month.
According to data, about 40 lakh postpaid mobile phone connections will be operational from Monday noon in the valley, bringing much needed relief to the people and security force personnel, who would be able to contact their families.
"I'm really happy that the postpaid mobiles have been restored in Kashmir after 70 days. Life was thrown completely out of gear due to the gag on communication.
Restored of postpaid mobiles will bring some relief, but authorities should also end gag on internet and prepaid phone services," Rameez Khan, a businessman, said. People could be seen calling and greeting relatives and friends, similar to that of a festival. The Jammu and Kashmir government on Saturday had announced that postpaid mobile phones of all telecom service providers will be restored in Kashmir valley from October 14. "After reviewing the overall security situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the government has decided to restore postpaid mobile phone services, irrespective of its telecom operator, from 12 noon on October 14. This will cover all 10 districts of Kashmir," J&K Government spokesperson Rohit Kansal told reporters during a press conference here on Saturday. Mr Kansal said the restoration of the service will allow tourists to remain in touch with their families back home. "Similarly, students with be able to remain touch with their parents and traders with their partners within the valley and outside J&K.
However, businessmen and people dependent of internet have urged government to restore internet services in the valley so that their business do not suffer further.
The communication network, including mobile phones, landline and internet, was suspended across Kashmir valley, including Srinagar, on August 5 as a precautionary measure to prevent rumours after the special status of the state was scrapped. Suspension of the communication -- landline, mobile and internet -- network evoked sharp reaction, particularly from the families whose relatives were outside the valley.
It was in the last week of August that landlines were restored to subscribers connected with Barzulla and Sonawar telephone exchanges. Landlines phones of subscribers, including all media organisations, from main BSNL telephone exchange were restored only on September 5.
Journalists working for different local, national and international media organisations too had to taste the ban on communication. Internet service of all media organisations, including newspapers and news agencies, remained suspended since August 5. Mobile phones of all journalists also remained voiceless during the last 70 days.
The State Information Department (SID) finally opened a 'Facilitation Centre' for journalists in Sonawar area of the city from where they file stories to their respective media organisations. However, for any information from far flung and remote areas, journalists are dependent on government briefing only.
Scores of media persons in the first week of October took out a protest rally in the summer capital, Srinagar, demanding restoration of their internet and mobile phones.
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