99% J&K restriction-free, postpaid mobile phones to be restored from Monday: Govt

Principal Secretary of Planning Commission in Jammu and Kashmir and senior IAS officer, Rohit Kansal announced at a press conference on Saturday that the postpaid mobile services will stand functional from 12 noon on Monday in the remaining areas of Jammu and Kashmir.

Postpaid mobile services were slated to resume from Saturday but a last minute technical hitch led to deferring of the resumption of services.

However, the subscribers will have to wait for some more time for Internet services to resume in the Valley, the spokesman said.

Restrictions were imposed 69 days ago after the Centre abrogated Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.

Rohit Kansal also said that 99 per cent of Jammu and Kashmir is now restriction free.

The government spokesman said there has been gradual removal of restrictions since August 16.

He said terror organisations such as at the LeT and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen continue to make attempts to terrorise people in the Valley, which is why restrictions were imposed so they could not hamper life and causes more deaths.

The administration has been examining various options with regard to suspension of mobile phone services which have come in for severe criticism for causing hardships to some seven million residents of the Valley.

At one point it was planned to open only BSNL services followed by allowing activating only incoming calls run by private telecom operators.

The move comes barely days after the Centre issued an advisory opening the Valley for tourists. Travel association bodies had approached the administration, saying that no tourist would like to come to the valley where no mobile phones working.

The mobile services in Jammu and Kashmir were shut down on August 5 after the Centre announced the abrogation of the special status guaranteed to the state under Article 370 of the Constitution.

Partial landline service was resumed in the Valley on August 17, and by September 4 all landlines, numbering nearly 50,000, were declared operational.

In Jammu, the communication system was restored within days of the blockade and even mobile Internet was started around mid-August. However, after its misuse, the Internet facility on cellular phones was snapped on August 18.

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