J&K: Landline connectivity restored, says Union home ministry; schools and banks functioning
This came a day after curfew-like restrictions were reimposed in several parts of the Valley to stop people from organising Muharram processions.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday said landline phone connections had been restored in Jammu and Kashmir while mobile postpaid connections were functioning in Kupwara district.
The ministry tweeted updates received from the state government. It said schools were functioning and attendance of teachers and students were improving. “All health institutions are fully functional,” it added.
The Centre’s statement came a day after curfew-like restrictions were reimposed in several parts of Kashmir Valley to prevent people from holding marches on the occasion of Ashura, the 10th day of the Islamic month of Muharram. Shia Muslims organise the processions to commemorate the martyrdom of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Imam Husayn in the Battle of Karbala 14 centuries ago. Local people alleged that the police had fired teargas shells and pellet guns to disperse people who wanted to march.
According to the government statement on Wednesday, all banks and ATMs were functional with more than Rs 108 crore withdrawn by the public “only from J&K Bank”. The home ministry said the stock of petroleum products and food grains were adequate. There was “movement of over 42,600 trucks carrying supplies since August 6”, it added.
The government said 10 Internet kiosks with five terminals each were functioning at all district headquarters for departmental purposes such as “e-tendering, submission of scholarship forms, and job applications”. Twelve additional air ticketing counters were established for the convenience of the general public and tourists, it added.
Jammu and Kashmir’s Director General of Police Dilbag Singh also claimed that life was returning to normal in the Valley, and people were going about their life as usual, PTI reported.
He said there were no reports of local youth joining militant groups in the state. “There have been no reports of any fresh local recruitment among the militant ranks,” Singh told reporters in Srinagar. “Some youth had been misled in the past and in a fit of anger gone astray. We have been able to bring many of them back.”
The state police chief said there were some reports of militants threatening fruit dealers in South Kashmir and stopping them from collecting fruits. Singh added that the police were aware of the situation and “our job is to facilitate the process and ensure that no one is able to harass them”.
Singh’s statements came on a day a suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba militant was killed in an encounter with security forces in Sopore district. The police identified him as Asif Maqbool Bhat, and claimed he was responsible for the attack on four civilians, including a minor, on Saturday in the district’s Dangerpora area.
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