J&K: Postpaid mobile services to be restored in Valley from Monday noon

The newspaper ad on Friday's dailies

The newspaper ad on Friday's dailies

Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal said the services were being restored after the government had reviewed the situation. Since then, almost 8 million population of Kashmir has been forced to live with any access mobile phones or the internet.

The press conference was also attended by Inspector General of Police for Kashmir S.P. Pani, Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir Basheer Khan, and Director of Information & Public Relations, Syed Sehrish Asgar.

Iltija Mufti, a daughter of Kashmir's former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, one of the politicians in detention, said worldwide pressure has forced the government's hand but the response was "very little, very late".

Postpaid mobile services, which were slated to resume on Saturday in Kashmir, are likely to begin from Monday, a major step towards easing curbs in the state, officials said. "This will cover all 10 districts of Kashmir province", announced Kansal.

"The government urges businessmen, industrialists, traders, transporters, shopkeepers, hoteliers and contractors not to be frightened by the threats of terrorists and separatists and go about their normal activities", the administration said on Saturday. "Banned organizations such as Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, HizbulMujahideen continue to make attempts to terrorise the people of Jammu & Kashmir". "It was in anticipation of this, that restrictions were imposed so that externally-aided terrorism does not lead to loss of innocent lives", he said. This is a tribute to both the people of Jammu and Kashmir and to the security forces.

He further informed that 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 eight to ten police stations, movement restrictions have now been completely removed".

In the third episode of Voices from the Lockdown - a Firstpost podcast that seeks to bring to the fore the ground realities in Kashmir, Ladakh and Jammu under the communications shutdown - we speak to Murtaza Fazily, a journalist from Ladakh, who will help us dissect this difference of opinion between leaders of Leh and Kargil regions in the soon-to-be standalone Union Territory.

The government had revoked its travel advisory on foreign tourists last week, allowing them to visit the valley from 10 October onwards. "Examination schedules have been announced. Students have been using this facility to apply for exams, download admission cards etc", the spokesperson said.

The government, however, on Thursday lifted restrictions on tourists travelling to the region and released three politicians among hundreds of people detained after 5 August. "Tourists are welcome to visit the state and they will be facilitated for their visit".

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