SRINAGAR: After beefing up of security by police and paramilitary forces, the telecom operators resumed their services and restored majority of the shut transmission towers in the Valley on Wednesday.
“The telecom operators are making the shut towers functional in the Valley. Of the 1800 towers shut in last few days, majority were restored today,” a senior police officer said.
He said with the restoration of the shut mobile towers, mobile connectivity has been partially restored in parts of North Kashmir, which was worst hit by the militant attacks on mobile vendors and towers.
The telecommunication was also restored in parts of South Kashmir and central Kashmir, where there was breakdown in mobile services.
The communication breakdown in some parts of the Valley had affected the business, banking and educational activities.
Sources said in Sopore, where two persons associated with mobile business were killed in three militant attacks last week, about 65 of 180 mobile towers were restored by the telecom operators today.
“After the militant attacks, only two mobile towers were functional in the Sopore. We are hopeful that more towers will be made functional tomorrow and mobile services in the area will be fully restored within next few days,” they said.
A police officer said confidence of mobile operators and people associated with mobile business was restored after security was beefed by police and paramilitary forces in the Valley especially around the areas, where towers are locality.
“Besides, we have also offered security to mobile towers in sensitive parts of the valley including volatile Sopore town in North Kashmir,” he said.
The police and CRPF men have intensified their patrolling in city, Sopore and other parts of the Valley and set up temporary checkposts, where they are conducting random searches of vehicles and commuters.
Sources said the call to mobile operators by PoK-based military conglomerate United Jehad Council (UJC) chief and Hizbul Mujahideen supremo Syed Salah-ud-Din yesterday to resume their activities also played its part in resumption of mobile services.
“UJC is the conglomerate of 15militant groups operating in the Valley. With UJC denying its involvement in the attacks on mobile vendors and installations and urging mobile operators to resume their business, the telecom operators, land owners on whose compounds towers were constructed and people associated with telecom business gained confidence and felt that risk factor was not involved in case they resume the services,” they said.
Kashmir BSNL Tower Landlords Welfare Association also resumed the operation of all mobile BSNL towers in the valley.
“After the police assurance and a statement by UJC to resume the work, it was unanimously decided to restore the operation of all BSNL towers from today,” President of the Association, Shabir Ahmad Lone said.
A police officer said police is investigating the militant attacks on mobile vendors and people connected with mobile business.
“We are questioning some people and are hopeful of a breakthrough soon,” he said.
Little known militant group Lashkar-e-Islam has claimed responsibility of the attacks on people associated with mobile business but police has blamed Hizbul Mujahideen for the attacks. However, Hizb has denied its involvement and blamed “intelligence agencies” for the attacks.
The attacks on mobile towers and mobile vendors took place after seizure of hitech communication device of militants from a mobile tower in Sopore town of North Kashmir. The device was helping militants in smooth communication without detection by security forces.