Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday assured a delegation of village heads and panchayat members from Jammu and Kashmir that mobile phone services in the region would be restored in the next 15-20 days, PTI reported, citing Zuber Nishad Bhat, a sarpanch from Harvan in Srinagar district.
“We had a good meeting with the Home Minister, he assured us about our concerns,” Manoj Pandita, a sarpanch from Pulwama, told News18.
Shah also told the delegation that village heads and panchayat members would get police security and an insurance cover of Rs 2 lakh each. “We have requested the home minister to provide us security and he has assured us that the administration will provide us security,” Mir Junaid, a sarpanch from Kupwara, told the news agency. Shah also assured them that nobody would lose their land, and “only government land would be used to establish industries, hospitals and educational institutions”, reported The Hindu.
Communication services were suspended on August 5. Tuesday marks the 30th day since the state was put under prohibitory orders and an unprecedented communications blackout as the government prepared to announce the revocation of the region’s autonomy. The Centre announced the move in Parliament on August 5, after which the state no longer has special constitutional status and is set to be split into two Union territories on October 31.
On Tuesday, the Centre said prohibitory orders were now limited to a little over a dozen police stations and there have been no cases of police firing or use of tear gas. “It is imposed in only 13 or 14 police stations and there is no bullet fire, no tear gas shell and no casualties. This is very important,” said Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar.
On Monday, the state administration said prohibitory orders were no longer in place during the day in 93% of Jammu and Kashmir. Daytime restrictions have also been removed from 92 out of 111 police station areas in the Kashmir Valley.
Government spokesperson and Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal said landline telephone services have been restored in 76 out of 95 exchanges, while mobile phones are working in Jammu and Ladakh. “Over 26,000 landline telephones are functional across the Valley and it has improved the communication services, which is evident from the fact that while 2,500 calls were being made from the deputy commissioner Srinagar’s facility before, it has now seen a fall by over 85%,” Kansal said. When all landlines were blocked, the government had allowed citizens to make phone calls from the deputy commissioner’s office.
Shah and Bharatiya Janata Party Working President JP Nadda also met former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Jagmohan on Tuesday. The meeting was a part of the party’s “sampark abhiyan” to reach out to leading members of society over the Centre’s move to revoke the special status.
Now, follow and debate the day’s most significant stories on Scroll Exchange.