Landline services partially restored in Valley, mobile internet back in 5 Jammu districts

Security personnel stand guard on the street of Srinagar on Saturday.

Security personnel stand guard on the street of Srinagar on Saturday. (ANI FILE Photo)

Mobile internet services have been restored in five districts of Jammu region – Jammu, Reasi, Samba, Kathu, and Udhampur on Saturday morning after 12 days of restrictions, officials said.

While the Jammu region has got some relief, the mobile telephone services in Kashmir valley continue to remain suspended.

Telephone services, including mobile phones and landlines had been suspended in Jammu and Kashmir on April 5 ahead of the Centre abrogating Article 370 which gave special status to the state. The government also split the state into two union territories.

According to PTI, landline services in 17 exchanges of the Kashmir Valley were restored on Saturday. These exchanges are mainly in Srinagar district’s Civil Lines area, Cantonment area and the airport.

The landline services have been restored in Budgam, Sonamarg and Manigam areas of central Kashmir. In north Kashmir, the services have been restored in Gurez, Tangmarg, Uri Keran Karnah and Tangdhar areas, officials said.

In south Kashmir, the landline services have been made operational in Qazigund and Pahalgam areas.

On Friday, Jammu and Kashmir chief secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam announced at a press conference in Srinagar that telecom connectivity would gradually be restored in a phased manner. He said the government has to keep in mind the constant threat posed by terrorist organisations using mobile connectivity to organise terror attacks. Most lines would be functioning before the weekend is over, he said.

Also on Friday, the Supreme Court refused to interfere with restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir, saying it would like to give the government some more time to restore normalcy in the region.

The apex court was hearing a petition by Anuradha Bhasin, the executive editor of Kashmir Times who has challenged the restrictions in the region. She had sought relaxation on mobile, landline, Internet services and movement of journalists in Jammu and Kashmir.

A heavy deployment of security forces continue across Kashmir valley.