Voice calls, SMS to be restored on prepaid mobiles in J&K: Kansal

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 1/19/2020 4:21:39 PM

JAMMU, Jan 18: The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Saturday said that it will restore the voice and SMS services for prepaid mobile phone users.
The services on prepaid mobile phones were barred on August 4 last year in wake of the Centre's decision to abrogate Article 370.
Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal said that after a careful review, "the competent authority has ordered today that voice and SMS facilities shall be restored on all local prepaid sim cards across J&K."
Rohit Kansal, the principal secretary to the administration of Jammu and Kashmir said the order will come into effect from Saturday.
He also said that 2G mobile data on postpaid mobiles for accessing whitelisted websites shall be allowed in all 10 districts of Jammu and in Kupwara, Bandipora in Kashmir division.
However, mobile internet shall remain suspended in Budgam, Ganderbal, Baramulla, Srinagar, Kulgam, Anantnag, Shopian and Pulwama districts.
In order to consider giving mobile Internet connectivity on such SIM cards, the telecom service providers will have to verify the credentials of the subscribers, he said.
This is being as a step towards ending the communication blockade which has become the longest-ever internet shutdown in the world.
Indian government has maintained that the communication shutdown was imposed to check infiltration to check terror activities in the valley. However, it has also said that restrictions will be lifted in a phased manner.
Postpaid mobile services were restored in the region in October last year.
The development comes in the wake of the Supreme Court order of January 10, which gave the Centre and “competent authorities" a week to review the restrictions imposed on Jammu and Kashmir since abrogation of Article 370.
Freedom to use the internet should be seen as part of fundamental rights as per Article 19 (1) (a) and right to practice profession protected under Article 19 (1) (g), the apex court said.
Indefinite suspension of services is impermissible and must be subjected to judicial review, it added.



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