Kashmir: Phone And Internet Services Partially Restored Ahead Of Eid
Phone and internet services were partly restored on the morning of August 9 after five days of security lockdown in Jammu and Kashmir. The restrictions were eased in the valley ahead of the Eid celebrations next week. However, thousands of security personnel are still stationed across the Kashmir valley to watch out for any trouble.
The decision to ease restrictions came after National Security Advisor Ajit Doval visited Srinagar.
The gates of the Jama Masjid where shut, however, prayers inside smaller mosques were allowed.
“People are allowed to pray within the neighborhood, there is no restriction on that,” the state police chief Dilbag Singh said. He said that people should not venture out of their local area.
People in groups were seen on the roads for the first time after almost a week. Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the nation on August 8 assured that the government will do everything to make sure there are no difficulties faced during Eid-ul-Adha celebrations on August 12.
“The government is providing every possible help to our friends who live outside Jammu and Kashmir and want to go back for Eid” PM said.
Due to the communication breakdown, people from the valley were not able to inquire with their family members dwelling in other states.
Speaking to The Logical Indian, a Kashmiri journalist Athar Koul said, “I have never been isolated for so long from my family in such a hazy atmosphere. I don’t know how long it would take us to resume conversation with our family. I am sure every Kashmiri’s heart is bursting. At the moment, I am desperate for anything to do with home, I am desperate for anything that signifies home”.
Satellite phones are being used by the security personnel and police in the valley to facilitate local communication.
“After so much unrest and panic, I somehow managed to get in touch with my family on a satellite phone. I found my district’s satellite number. After requesting, the district SHO let me talk to my mother and brother, A Noida-based Kashmiri resident, Ayan Mantu said, “They seem safe and sound. It’s inexplicable to tell how invaluable the feeling was on hearing my mother’s voice. If it ever felt like a rebirth, it was that moment.”
Around 400 political leaders, including former Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, remain in custody as the government is trying to avoid protests or rallies. Omar Abdullah’s party- The National Conference petitioned the Supreme Court against the centre’s scrapping of article 370 on August 10.