Mobile Net partially restored in 5 Jammu districts

Arun Sharma, Adil Akhzer
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The five districts where mobile data services were restored were Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Udhampur, and Reasi.

Even over 20 hours after the administration of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) on Wednesday restored internet connectivity to post-paid mobile phones in five districts of Jammu, the services were yet to start functioning, while in Kashmir, a group of eight Malaysian tourists was able to access internet for the first time since their arrival on January 11.

Principal Secretary, Home, Shaleen Kabra, who had on Tuesday issued directions regarding partial restoration of services in Jammu, and broadband services in Jammu and Kashmir did not respond to phone calls. The administration’s official spokesperson and Principal Secretary of Planning, Development and Monitoring Department, Rohit Kansal, also held a press conference announcing the government’s decision on Wednesday, but he refused to take any questions from media persons.

The five districts where mobile data services were restored were Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Udhampur, and Reasi.

Pointing out that the directions will remain in force for a period of seven days with effect from January 15, unless modified earlier, the order said that in other districts of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir, this connectivity shall remain suspended till further directions, pursuant upon a review of adverse impact, if any, of this relaxation on the security situation, it added.

In the same order, Kabra had directed the BSNL and private internet service providers to provide the broadband facility to all the institutions in Kashmir that deal with essential services like hospitals, banks, government offices, besides hotels, tour and travel establishments. However, he asked the service providers to install necessary firewalls and carry out the ‘white-listing’ of sites enabling access to only government websites and those dealing with essential services before giving such facility.

A senior official in one of the service providers said that they were yet to receive any written order from the administration, while another also denied having received any official instructions to partially restore internet connectivity.