Mobile phones in Kashmir buzzed back to life on Monday, connecting 40 lakh post-paid subscribers to their families and friends across the country. However, the internet facilities are yet to be restored. Over 25 lakh prepaid mobile phones and other internet services, including WhatsApp, will remain deactivated for now, officials said.
The phones were dead since August 5, when the Centre had revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and reorganised the state into two union territories.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir administration has said that security forces are fully geared to meet any challenge arising out of the opening of mobile communications.
The restoration of post-paid mobile phones of all services tops a number of steps taken in recent weeks to remove restrictions in the Valley. Last week, the state was opened to tourists. Educational institutions are also open, but attendance has been slim.
On August 17, partial fixed line telephony was resumed in the Valley. On September 4, nearly 50,000 landlines were declared operational.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik had earlier said mobile phones were being used by terrorists to spread a hate campaign in the state.
While in Jammu, the communication was restored within days of the blockade and mobile internet was started around mid-August. However, after its misuse, internet facility on cell phones was snapped on August 18.