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J&K postpaid mobiles to ring from tomorrow

J&K postpaid mobiles to ring from tomorrow
Highlights

In a major step towards easing the 69-day lockdown in the Kashmir Valley, authorities on Saturday announced that some 40 lakh postpaid mobile phones will become operational from Monday noon.

Srinagar : In a major step towards easing the 69-day lockdown in the Kashmir Valley, authorities on Saturday announced that some 40 lakh postpaid mobile phones will become operational from Monday noon.

The announcement was made by Jammu and Kashmir Principle Secretary and Spokesman Rohit Kansal at a nationally televised press conference here.

However, over 20 lakh prepaid mobile phones, and mobile and other internet services will remain deactivated for now.

Restrictions were imposed after the Centre on August 5 abrogated the state's special status and bifurcated it into Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, which will come into being on October 31.

"Having reviewed the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, a decision has been taken to restore mobile phone facilities in all the remaining areas of Jammu and Kashmir," Kansal said.

"More specifically, all postpaid mobile phones, irrespective of the telecom service provider, will stand restored and be functional from 12 noon on Monday, 14 October, 2019," he said while reading out from a statement at the conference.

Kansal said the decision is for all 10 districts of the Kashmir province. The announcement tops a number of steps taken in the recent weeks to remove restrictions that were imposed after Jammu and Kashmir was stripped of its special status. The state was opened to tourists two days ago.

Educational institutions are also open, but attendance has been slim. Lack of mobile phone connectivity has caused immense hardship to the people and the announcement of its restoration is the most significant step towards ending the communication blockade.

"With this step, tourists will be able to visit the state without being handicapped by the lack of phone connectivity, students can be in touch with parents while attending school, businessmen can be in touch with customers, transporters can contact clients and contractors can be in touch with staff," Kansal said.

"Tourists are welcome to visit the state and they will be facilitated for their visit. Internet facilities are being opened at tourist places to assist tourists," he said.

Kansal was also asked when political leaders, including former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, and activists would be released.

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