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Prepaid mobile services restored in J-K after over five-month suspension

By PTI Updated: Jan 17, 2020 10:00 pm
Journalists uses their mobile phone as government orders for the restoration of pre-paid mobile services and 2G internet services in 2 districts of the Kashmir valley after the six months of ban, at Government Media Facilitation Centre in Srinagar on Saturday. (PTI)

Jammu, Jan. 18 (PTI): The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Saturday ordered the restoration of the prepaid mobile service in the Valley after over five months of suspension besides the 2G mobile data service on postpaid connections for accessing “whitelisted” sites across the Jammu division, an official spokesperson said.

2G mobile data services on postpaid mobiles for accessing the whitelisted sites were resumed in only two districts — Kupwara and Bandipora — in Kashmir.

The administration has also ordered fixed line internet connectivity with precautions to the companies engaged in software services in the valley.

“Telecom service providers are being issued instructions to operationalise the directions immediately after providing all the safeguards detailed in the order issued today (Saturday) by the competent authority,” Principal Secretary to Jammu and Kashmir government Rohit Kansal told reporters here.

The latest development comes a week after the Supreme Court, in a significant ruling on January 10, asked the Jammu and Kashmir administration to review within a week all orders imposing curbs in the Union Territory.

Internet services, landline and mobile phones were snapped across Jammu and Kashmir on the eve of Centre’s announcement to scrap special status of the erstwhile state and its bifurcation into Union Territories on August 5.

While most of the services except mobile internet were restored in Jammu within a week, Kashmir witnessed restoration of landlines and postpaid mobile services and internet facilities to essential services like hospitals in phases.

“After a careful review, the competent authority has ordered today (Saturday) that voice and SMS facility shall be restored on all local prepaid SIM cards across the Union Territory of J&K.

“Further in order to consider, provision of mobile internet connectivity on such SIM cards, the telecom service providers shall initiate the process of verification of credentials for these subscribers as per available norms for postpaid subscribers,” Kansal, who is the official spokesperson of the government, said.

He said the internet service providers — BSNL and private service providers — would provide fixed line internet connectivity with precautions already directed to all companies engaged in the software services sector.

He said the mobile internet connectivity would, however, remain suspended in Srinagar, Budgam, Ganderbal, Baramulla, Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian districts in the Valley.

On January 10, the Supreme Court came down heavily on the UT administration for arbitrarily shutting down the internet, the facility described as a fundamental right by the apex court.

As per the order issued by Principal Secretary, Home Department, Shaleen Kabra “the directions would be effective from Saturday and remain in force till January 24, unless modified earlier.

By PTI Updated: Jan 17, 2020 10:00:00 pm