New Delhi: More than 10 days after a complete lockdown in Kashmir, communication will be restored in the Valley with landline services set to resume by Sunday.
With the conclusion of Eid and Independence Day celebrations, the Centre is set to lift the curb in phases. Jammu and Kashmir chief secretary B.V.R Subrahmanyam said the government was in the process of reviewing the situation. He said the restrictions had been largely imposed to thwart “efforts by Pakistan to destabilize the situation".
“As things stand today, 12 of 22 districts are functioning normally, and measures have been put in place to ensure zero loss of lives on any side or serious injuries to anyone. Telecom connectivity will be eased and restored in a phased manner keeping in mind the constant threat by terror organizations," he said.
Subrahmanyam added, while Srinagar would be mostly functional by Saturday, landline services would be restored by Sunday, with BSNL set to resume operations in a phased manner across all its exchanges.
“We have prevented any loss of human life despite concerted efforts by terror organisations and continued efforts by Pakistan to destabilize. There will be easing of restrictions over the next few days. Schools will be reopened after the weekend, public transport will be allowed gradually and all government offices were made fully functional from today (Friday). The situation after Friday prayers was also very calm," he stated.
With political leaders of the state, including Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah and Shah Faesal, under house arrest, Subrahmanyam said “Preventive detentions are being reviewed and the appropriate decision will be made."
While communication, including internet, mobile and landline services, was completely blocked in the Valley in the wake of the scrapping of special status to the state under Article 370 and the state’s bifurcation, schools and colleges were ordered to remain shut because of a curfew.
An official familiar with the development said internet shutdown would, however, continue in Jammu and Kashmir.
While security restrictions had been lifted in the Valley prior to Eid, it had been imposed afresh on the day of the festival, with the state remaining under watertight security till Independence Day celebrations on Thursday.
Subrahmanyam, who reviewed the developments in the past week, said “Satellite and cable TV networks are operational. On 10 and 11 August, relaxation was given so people could shop for Eid. However, some restrictions were required on 14 and 15 August because terror threat perception was greater."