Srinagar: All telephonic exchanges will be restored in the Kashmir Valley from Thursday, even as mobile phone services will be made functional in the districts of Kupwara and Handwara in Jammu and Kashmir. The move comes one month after the Narendra Modi-led central government revoked Article 370 and Article 35A in the former state, taking away its special status.
Incoming and outgoing calls on mobile phone services of the newly-formed territory of Jammu and Kashmir will be restored by Thursday night. This comes after Srinagar District Magistrate Shahid Choudhary on Wednesday said that most telephone exchanges in Kashmir valley would be made functional by that night. 19 more telephone exchanges were restored in the night after district magistrate's announcement.
Earlier on August 31, 29 more landline connections were restored, in addition to the 47 telephonic exchanges which were made operational before in the view of the improving situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Centre had also eased the restrictions in 11 more police stations areas, in addition to 82 out of 105 police stations which were made functional without any restrictions in the government's efforts to bring life back to normal in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
It may be recalled that landline, mobile phone services and the Internet were suspended in Kashmir Valley on August 5 few hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre announced its decision to abrogate provisions of Article 370 that gave special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Centre had also announced its decision to bifurcate the state into two Union Territories - Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
The government had said that mobile, landline and Internet services were suspended in Jammu and Kashmir in order to maintain law and order in the region following its decision to revoke Article 370.
A few days ago, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik had justified the government's decision saying mobile and internet are used mostly by Pakistani propaganda machinery and anti-India elements to mobilise people against the Indian Army and for the indoctrination of local youths against the government. He had however assured that the restrictions on mobile and Internet will be lifted gradually.