Schools re-open in Kashmir, internet services suspended in Jammu
Jammu and Kashmir has been under a lockdown for a fortnight now, and on Monday the state took tiny steps towards normalcy. Nearly 190 schools re-opened in Srinagar and district administration said it has taken necessary steps to ensure the safety of children. However, internet services which were restored in Jammu on Saturday were snapped again on Sunday. Here's what went down.
J&K has been under an unprecedented security cover since August 5. All modes of communication were suspended before Centre's big Kashmir move. The BJP-led Centre abrogated provisions of Article 370, which granted the state a special status, and split J&K into two Union Territories. Last week, the government defended the clampdown by saying it saved lives and assured that restrictions will be eased gradually.
On Friday, J&K Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam revealed that government offices were made functional and that schools will re-open soon. "As many as 190 schools will reopen on Monday in various zones of the district. The areas where schools will be opened include Lasjan, Sangri, Panthachowk, Nowgam, Rajbagh, Jawahar Nagar, Gagribal, Dhara, Theed, Batmaloo, and Shalteng," a spokesperson said on Sunday.
On Saturday, 17 out of the 100 telephone exchanges were made functional in the valley. However, services at one exchange were suspended after reports suggested that landline facilities were being used to spread misinformation. Baghat, Gogjibagh, and Indira Nagar exchanges were working properly. However, there was no word on when the Lal Chowk exchange, the largest in Srinagar, will be restored.
"The process of easing of restrictions including easing of communication restrictions will continue and as I mentioned yesterday, we will endeavor that landline communication is restored to its full functionality as quickly as possible," said J&K spokesperson Rohit Kansal on Sunday.
Meanwhile, 2G mobile services which were restored in Jammu were snapped again. The areas which got connectivity back were Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Reasi, and Udhampur. Talking about it, Divisional Commissioner Sanjeev Verma said, "There was too much load in respect to the flow of data and the slow 2G network was not able to cope with it."
Separately, IGP Jammu zone Mukesh Singh also said that 2G services were revoked due to a technical glitch, and efforts are on to ensure connectivity is restored soon. "There is also a rumor regarding a strike in Jammu due to which there are long queues at petrol pumps. I would like to inform all the citizens that all such rumors are false," he added.