After more than five months of shutdown, voice and SMS facilities were restored on all prepaid mobiles on Saturday across the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
The administration also allowed 2G Internet connectivity to white-listed sites across all ten districts of Jammu province and two revenue districts of Kupwara and Bandipora in Kashmir. Telecom service providers have also been directed to comply with these directions immediately after ensuring fulfilment of the necessary formalities.
Meanwhile, an order issued by Principal Secretary, Home, Shaleen Kabra said the decision to restore voice and SMS facility has been done following an assessment of overall security scenario in pursuant to the decision taken on January 15, besides considering the “number of reports about the use of internet in cross border terrorism/terror activity, incitement, rumour mongering etc., as also misuse of pre-paid mobile connections by anti-nationals”.
It order also ask the internet service providers to provide broadband connectivity with precautions as already directed, to companies engaged in software (IT/ITES) services.
Earlier this week on January 15, the UT administration restored mobile internet in parts of Jammu region and broadband in hotels, travel establishments and hospitals. The home department said in a three-page order that 2G mobile connectivity on post-paid mobiles for accessing white-listed websites including e-banking will be restored in five districts including Jammu, Sambua, Kathua, Udhampur and Reasi districts in Jammu region.
The order comes days after the Supreme Court made harsh observations to the J&K administration for snapping Internet services, which it said was a fundamental right of the people. In an order on January 10, the apex court directed the administration to review and publish all orders on the suspension of the Internet services.
Short Messaging Services (SMS) were restored in the Valley after 150 days of suspension on January 1, 2020. Broadband Internet connectivity in all government hospitals was also restored.
Internet services were suspended across the Union Territory on August 5, after the Centre revoked Article 370 of the Constitution and scrapped the special status guaranteed to Jammu and Kashmir.
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