Bringing in some relief amidst intense communication blackout authorities in Kashmir have restored 19 more telephone exchanges, a month after telephone services were snapped following abrogation of Article 370, officials said on Thursday.
Landline telephone connections started working at commercial hub of Srinagar in Lal Chowk and press colony in the early hours of Thursday, the officials said. 19 telephone exchanges have been restored out of 100 telephone exchanges in Kashmir Valley. The officials said no decision has been taken yet on restoration of mobile telephone and Internet services on all platforms.
Meanwhile, there was more movement of private vehicles on city roads but the shutdown in the valley continued for the 32nd day on Thursday. Markets and other business establishments remained closed while public transport was off the roads across the valley today, officials said. A large number of private vehicles could be seen plying in many parts of the city while some vendors also plied their trade.
The efforts of the state government to open schools have not been successful as parents continue to keep children at home due to apprehensions about their safety and as a mark of protest.
Government offices are open but attendance in many offices was thin due to lack of public transport, the officials said adding offices at district headquarters registered normal attendance.
Restrictions under section 144 CrPC, which were imposed last month, have been eased in most parts of Kashmir but there are no signs of end to the deadlock. Restrictions continued in old city areas where security personnel have been deployed in strength to maintain law and order in view of a youth succumbing to injuries at a hospital here on Wednesday.
Asrar Ahmed Khan, who was around 18 years old, was part of a mob carrying out protests in Soura on August 6, a day after Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and announced its bifurcation into two union territories. The young boy was injured during clashes between protestors and security personnel on August 6 and succumbed after battling for life for one month.
According to the officials, the young man was injured with a blunt object that day when the angered crowd was protesting abrogation of Article 370. The protesters then alleged that Khan was hit by a tear gas shell.
Most of the top level and second rung separatist politicians have been taken into preventive custody while mainstream leaders including three former chief ministers, Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, have also been either detained or placed under house arrest.