For only the second time in recent years, mobile phones and internet services were not barred in Jammu and Kashmir on Republic Day on Thursday. For more than a decade since 2005, the restrictions were imposed on both Republic Day and Independence Day as explosions were triggered using cellphones.
A senior police officer told Rising Kashmir that authorities did not think the ban would be needed this year, even though the Valley saw an unrest for months after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8, 2016. Telecommunication services were blocked in the state in the wake of the clashes that followed. Although most services were restored by November 18, mobile internet connections on prepaid numbers are not back yet, PTI reported.
In 2015, it was for the first time in 12 years that mobile and internet services were left uninterrupted in the Kashmir Valley on Republic Day. The connections were snapped usually between dawn and noon.