As stringent security measures continued to be in place in Kashmir after the Centre revoked the state’s special status under Article 370, restrictions on the movement of people were eased and landline phone services got restored in some areas of the Valley on Saturday, news agency PTI reported.
Restrictions were also relaxed in 35 police stations in the Kashmir Valley, state police chief Dilbag Singh was quoted as saying by the news agency. 17 telephone exchanges, out of the total 96, have been made functional in the Valley. More than 50,000 landline phones were operational now, officials said, adding that the services will be restored in other areas in a “calibrated manner”.
“Restrictions relaxed in the jurisdiction of 35 police stations in the Kashmir Valley. Shops opened in most of these areas. Landline numbers opened in some parts of each district in Kashmir. Communication opened Jammu region,” Singh said. However, he warned that any misuse of internet facilities will result in legal action.
Meanwhile, in Jammu, low-speed (2G) mobile internet services were restored in five districts.
However, security forces continued to remain deployed, while barricades remained on the roads, but people were allowed to move after checking their credentials, officials said. In Jammu, now there are no restrictions in 10 districts with ongoing relaxation at Poonch, Banihal, Kishtwar and Bhaderwah towns for the day, the state police chief said.
Officials said the high-speed (3G and 4G) mobile internet services will be restored in Jammu after a fresh assessment of the situation. Meanwhile, the mobile internet services continued to remain suspended in Poonch, Rajouri, Kishtwar, Doda and Ramban districts.
Primary schools across the Valley will reopen on Monday and government offices will also be fully functional from then, Government spokesperson Rohit Kansal said.
In north Kashmir, the landline services have been restored in Gurez, Tangmarg, Uri Keran Karnah and Tangdhar areas. In south Kashmir, the services have been made operational in Qazigund and Pahalgam areas.
However, most of the business establishments, including fuel stations, remained shut.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson of the Jammu and Kashmir government said the administration is closely monitoring the whole situation and so far no untoward incident has been reported from anywhere in the Valley.
Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam told a press conference on Friday that government offices in the Valley functioned normally and attendance was “quite high”. He said there has been no loss of life or major injury since the restrictions were imposed on August 5.
Mobile internet services were suspended on August 4 night before the Centre moved to scrap the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370. Nearly a dozen leaders from mainstream political parties in Jammu have been put under house arrest so far.
(With PTI and ENS inputs)