Facility starts at midnight; broadband net services restored at Govt hospitals, schools
The Government of Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir on Tuesday delivered a “good news” to lakhs of people of Kashmir Valley by deciding to restore short message service (SMS) on 40 lakh post-paid mobile phones from midnight on January 1.
The announcement was welcomed by the common people even as they continue to wait for the restoration of mobile internet services in the coming days.
The start of SMS will enable the common people to stay connected with their loved ones staying outside the Valley.
Addressing a Press conference in Jammu, Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal, who is the J&K administration’s spokesperson, said broadband internet services in all Government-run hospitals and schools were being restored from January 1 across different parts of Kashmir Valley.
Since August 5, the Government had disconnected mobile and landline phone services in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions.
In the wake of significant improvement in security scenario, the Government had restored phone lines but held back approvals to end the ban on internet and SMS.
Kargil, part of the Union Territory of Ladakh, got back mobile internet services last week after a gap of 145 days. But the facility has still not been restored in J&K.
Rohit Kansal said the process had started on December 10 when SMS was enabled on mobile phones to facilitate students, scholarship applicants, traders and others. They still could not send messages but could receive one-time passwords from machine-based connections such as banks.
“It has now been decided to fully restore the service throughout Kashmir from midnight of December 31,” Kansal said.
In the second week of October, post-paid mobile phones were restored in Kashmir Valley along with the SMS facility. The administration, however, pulled the plug on SMS services within a few hours reportedly after the security forces claimed terrorists were using them to mobilise people.
Over 25 lakh prepaid mobile phones and mobile internet services needed for messaging services such as WhatsApp continue to remain deactivated.
Meanwhile, security situation in Jammu & Kashmir has improved
Jammu and Kashmir DGP, Dilbag Singh, on Tuesday said that over all security situation in Jammu & Kashmir has improved significantly on ground zero in the recent months.
At the same time, the police chief warned that attempts were being made to target the security forces using IED and fabricated cars laden with explosives.
He said, “After the Pulwama attack, a few attempts were made where fabricated cars were used to target the security convoys”. “We have either neutralised or arrested all those behind these attacks. To prevent repeat of similar strikes we are maintaining a tight vigil and there is complete synergy between the security forces on ground zero”.
He also complimented the security forces for “tactfully” handling the situation and ensuring restoration of law and order.
Sharing details of prevailing security situation here at police headquarters, the DGP said the situation has improved as official figures show significant decline in total number of law and order incidents. He said compared to previous year even less number of infiltrators managed to sneak inside the Indian territory in 2019.
Addressing an annual Press conference here in the lawns of police headquarters, the DGP, flanked by senior most police officers said,” As per our record around 130 infiltrators managed to infiltrate this year, compared to last year’s figure of 143.” He further said that reports have shown that there has been a decrease in the number of local youth joining terrorist organisations.
He said, “Number of youths joining terrorist organisations has also gone down, 218 joined in 2018, this year it was 139.” He said the shelf life of a terrorist has also been reduced.
He also commented on the number of active terrorists in Jammu & Kashmir. He said, “Number of terrorists who have been active for a long time has gone down. Number of active terrorists has gone down from 300 to 250.”
Out of these, at least 100 are foreign nationals from Pakistan and around 150 are local terrorists, he added.
Wednesday, 01 January 2020 | Mohit Kandhari | Jammu