Restrictions on movement of people in Kashmir eased; landline services in 17 exchanges restored in Valley

  • The process of phasing out severe restrictions imposed on Jammu and Kashmir has begun

  • According to the state administration, telephone services were made operational in several areas across Jammu and Kashmir

  • Restrictions on the movement of people in the Kashmir Valley were eased on Saturday, officials said

The process of phasing out severe restrictions imposed on Jammu and Kashmir has begun. According to the state administration, telephone services were made operational in several areas across Jammu and Kashmir.

Restrictions on the movement of people in the Kashmir Valley were eased on Saturday, with landline services restored in some areas of the city, even as stringent security arrangements continued to be in place, officials said. They said the restrictions have been relaxed in 35 police station areas of Kashmir, while 17 telephone exchanges have been made functional out of the total 96 across the Valley.

The services were were suspended in the early hours of 5 August when the Centre abrogated provisions of Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Starting Saturday morning, 2G mobile internet services have been restored in Jammu, Reasi, Samba, Kathua and Udhampur districts of the region. The officials said the high-speed 3G and 4G mobile internet services will be restored after a fresh assessment of the situation. However, the internet services continued to remain suspended in Poonch, Rajouri, Kishtwar, Doda and Ramban districts, the officials said.

 Restrictions on movement of people in Kashmir eased; landline services in 17 exchanges restored in Valley

A Kashmiri man rides a bicycle through a deserted street during security lockdown in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. AP

Earlier on Friday, the government had decided to lift restrictions imposed in Jammu and Kashmir, in a phased and gradual manner. Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik had directed all government offices to resume normal functioning.

The restrictions were eased on Saturday morning to facilitate the movement of government employees towards their offices, the officials said. Security forces continued to remain deployed, while barricades remained on the roads, but people were allowed to move after checking their credentials, they said.

There was increase in movement of private vehicles in the civil lines areas and other district headquarters of the Valley, the officials said, adding that some inter-district cabs were also seen plying in Dalgate area of the summer capital. Some shops in the civil lines area opened on Saturday morning, the officials said. However, most of the business establishments, including fuel stations, remained shut.

Addressing a press conference, government spokesperson Rohit Kansal said the relaxations have been eased out in 35 police station areas.

"The process of providing relaxation and easing out of restrictions is already in progress. Relaxation has been provided in 35 police station areas across the length and breadth of the Valley and so far, there are no reports of any untoward incident. The public transport is plying and we have encouraging reports of a lot of public movement", Kansal said.

On the restoration of landline services, the government spokesperson said out of the 96 exchanges in the Kashmir Valley, 17 are functional and providing landline services to people.

"The endeavour is to make at least half of the exchanges in the Valley functional by today evening and by tomorrow evening, all of the exchanges, barring few in the vulnerable areas, would be made functional", he said.

The government spokesperson said the primary schools across the Valley will reopen on Monday and government offices will also be fully functional from then. On a question of release of detained political leaders, Kansal said such a decision would be taken by local authorities based on the law and order situation in their respective areas.

"Telecom connectivity will be gradually restored in a phased manner, keeping in mind the constant threat posed by terrorist organisations in using mobile connectivity to organise terror actions. Preventive detentions are being continuously reviewed and appropriate decisions will be made based on law and order assessments", Jammu and Kashmir chief secretary BVR Subrahmanyam had said on Friday.

In implementing the decisions taken last fortnight, this history of cross-border terrorism required the government to put in place certain preventive steps as a precautionary measure, he had said. An important factor in doing so were credible inputs that such terrorist organisations were planning to undertake strikes in the state in the immediate future, the chief secretary had said.

"A few preventive detentions of individuals were also made in accordance with the provisions of the law to maintain law and order and avoid breach of peace. Similar measures have had to be taken in the past following violent incidents," he added.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Aug 17, 2019 16:39:22 IST