The government of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday said postpaid mobile telephony would be restored from October 14, after 71 days of a communication shutdown in the Kashmir Valley, but warned of threats “of widescale militant attacks being orchestrated from across the border”.
“After reviewing the situation, it has been decided that all postpaid mobile phones, irrespective of the service provider, will stand restored and be functional from noon on Monday. This will cover all 10 districts of the Kashmir province,” State Principal Secretary and official spokesman Rohit Kansal said at a press conference here.
The decision will help 40 lakh postpaid users in the Valley, which has around 66 lakh mobile phone users. It would also help tourists visit the State without difficulty.
Internet would be made available to tourists at key destinations, he added .
“Now, students can be in touch with parents while attending schools, businessmen can be in touch with customers, transporters can contact clients, and contractors can be in touch with staff,” Mr. Kansal said.
The government, however, was quick to add that there was the looming threat of militant attacks in J&K.
“It’s a well-established fact that there have been sustained attempts from across the border, both in the past and more so in the last two months, to promote militancy and terrorism in J&K to create a sense of fear. Credible inputs continue to be received of the likelihood of large-scale terrorist attacks, sponsored by forces inimical to the nation and from outside its borders,” Mr. Kansal said.
He warned that these terrorist attacks were meant not only to cause large-scale damage to life and property but also create an atmosphere of fear and terror among the people of J&K. “Banned organisations such as Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Hizbul Mujahideen continue to make attempts to terrorise people,” he said.
He said the recent restrictions were imposed “so that externally aided terrorism does not lead to a loss of innocent lives”.The government, he said, was firm in its resolve that the attempts of these disruptive elements will be foiled. Mr. Kansal also informed that barring 8-10 police stations, movement restrictions had been completely removed in the Valley.