Landline phones back, schools to reopen in Kashmir Valley

​Officials said the restrictions had been relaxed in 35 police station areas of Kashmir-15 in north Kashmir and ten each in south and central Kashmir.

Published: 18th August 2019 12:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th August 2019 10:36 AM   |  A+A-

Private vehicles ply on a road after authorities eased restrictions in some parts of Srinagar on Saturday, August 17.

Private vehicles ply on a road after authorities eased restrictions in some parts of Srinagar on Saturday, August 17. (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

SRINAGAR: Restrictions on movement of people were eased and landline phone services restored in parts of Kashmir Valley on Saturday, though strict security measures remained in place.

Sporadic incidents of stone-pelting were reported from some areas where the restrictions were eased.

Officials said the restrictions had been relaxed in 35 police station areas of Kashmir—15 in north Kashmir and ten each in south and central Kashmir.

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

In the areas where restrictions were relaxed, shops and business establishments remained closed and most public transport was off the roads, with only private vehicles and three-wheelers plying. 

Security personnel continued to man barricades and maintain tight vigil. After the easing of restrictions, youths in many areas of Srinagar came out on the roads and staged protest demonstrations and clashed with security personnel, who fired tear smoke shells and pellets to disperse them.

The clashes continued for some time. In Rajouri Kadal and Noorbagh in downtown Srinagar, the youths set on fire some private vehicles. After the clashes, additional troops were rushed to the area to tighten the restrictions and disallow any public movement.

Government spokesperson Rohit Kansal said 17 of the 96 telephone exchanges had started functioning again, making more than 50,000 landline phones operational. The services in other areas would be restored in a “calibrated manner” an official said.

READ MORE | Internet with 2G speed restored in Jammu, restrictions lifted in Rajouri after 12 days

Kansal said primary schools in the Valley will reopen on Monday and government offices will be fully functional from then. Some shops in the city had opened on Saturday and there were more private vehicles on the roads, officials said. Kansal said that in Jammu division, landline services were functioning normally. “Besides 2G internet mobile service was restored in five districts of Jammu region”. 

Eight injured in unrest

Government spokesman Rohit Kansal said six or seven incidents of disturbances were reported from across the Valley on Saturday. “Eight persons were injured in these incidents,” he said. Kansal said the incidents took place in areas where restrictions were in force, and none where curbs were eased.

All exchanges may function by today

Apart from Srinagar, the parts of Kashmir where landline services were restored were Gurez, Tangmarg, Uri, Keran, Karnah and Tangdhar in north Kashmir, Budgam, Sonamarg and Manigam in central Kashmir, and Qazigund and Pahalgam in south Kashmir.

The authorities aim to make all exchanges in the Valley functional by Sunday evening, government spokesman  Rohit Kansal said.

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