17 phone exchanges restored, curbs lifted from 35 police stations in Jammu and Kashmir

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

Published: 17th August 2019 10:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th August 2019 08:39 AM   |  A+A-

A Kashmiri man rides a bicycle through a deserted street during security lockdown in Srinagar Wednesday August 14 2019. | AP

Express News Service

SRINAGAR: In a relief to residents of Jammu & Kashmir, the government on Saturday relaxed restrictions on the movement of people. 

Security has been eased and landline phone lines have been restored, albeit partially. Some shops in the city opened on Saturday and there were more private vehicles on the roads, officials said.

However, it’s still miles to go before normalcy is fully restored as restrictions are being lifted in a careful, phased manner. 

Sporadic incidents of stone-pelting were reported from some areas where the restrictions were eased, though none of them was violent.  Government spokesperson Rohit Kansal said restrictions could be relaxed as the situation improved in the Valley. Free movement of people has been allowed in areas under 15 police stations in north and 10 each in south and central Kashmir.

Kansal said 17 telephone exchanges, out of a total of 96, have been made functional — making over 50,000 landline phones operational. Services in other areas would be restored in a calibrated manner,  he added. Landlines services are functioning normally in the Jammu division, he noted. “Besides, 2G internet mobile service was restored in five districts of Jammu region.”

The spokesperson said schools, including primary classes, and government offices will start functioning normally from Monday.

However, in some areas where restrictions were relaxed, shops and business establishments remained closed while public transport was off the roads. 

In what may be worrisome for the authorities, after easing of restrictions, youngsters in many areas came out on to the roads, staged demonstrations and clashed with the security personnel, who fired tear-smoke shells and pellets to disperse them. 

On the release of detained political leaders, Kansal said it was up to the local authorities to decide based on the law-and-order situation in their respective areas.

Schools to open on Monday

Schools in the Valley will reopen on Monday and govt offices will also be fully functional from next week

Army man killed in firing

An Army man was killed on Saturday in Pak firing and mortar shelling in Nowshera sector of Rajouri dist of J&K.

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