Jammu and Kashmir Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal said on Tuesday that SMS services will be restored in the Union Territory from midnight, ANI reported. SMS services, along with mobile internet and all other forms of communications, were shut down on August 5, when India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration has also decided to restore internet services in hospitals, Scroll.in has learnt.
The Ladakh administration on December 27 restored 4G mobile internet connectivity in Kargil, after a gap of 145 days. However, mobile internet services remain blocked in the Kashmir Valley. Postpaid mobile phone services were restored across all networks in the Kashmir Valley on October 14.
Bharatiya Janata Party General Secretary Ram Madhav said on December 27 that internet connectivity can be restored in the Kashmir Valley based on the assessment of security. “I’m expecting that things will be restored soon,” he said.
The Centre, apart from imposing a lockdown in the erstwhile state, had also put mainstream political leaders like National Conference President Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti under house arrest. Farooq Abdullah was later detained under the Public Security Act, and his detention extended on December 14 by three months. On Monday, India released five political detainees, two from the National Conference and three from the Peoples Democratic Party.
India has faced increasing international pressure to bring Kashmir back to normalcy. On October 25, the United States had asked India to provide a road map for the restoration of normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir, including the immediate release of all political detainees. “We continue to press for the release of detainees for the full restoration of everyday services, but most importantly, for a roadmap for the restoration of political and economic normalcy,” Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice G Wells said.