Ground Report: Phone Lines in Kashmir to Be Restored Over Weekend

Kashmir remained shut for the twelfth consecutive day on Friday, 16 August.

2 min read

Kashmir remained shut for the twelfth consecutive day on Friday, 16 August, even as authorities relaxed restrictions on the movement of people in Srinagar.

The Quint’s Shadab Moizee, who is reporting from Srinagar amid the communication crackdown in the Valley, managed to make a two-minute phone call to the Delhi bureau.

He first talked about the key takeaways from the press conference held by the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam in Srinagar.


‘Kashmir Schools to Reopen Next Week’

Moizee said the J&K chief secretary announced, on Friday, that “schools will be opened after the weekend, area-wise, so that children's studies do not suffer”.

However, it wasn't immediately clear which schools: primary, secondary or senior secondary schools will be reopened, Moizee said, adding that there is no clarity on the reopening of colleges in the Valley either.

Subrahmanyam reportedly said that steps will be taken keeping in view the evolving situation in the Valley.

‘Phone Lines in Kashmir to Be Restored Over the Weekend’

Moizee then talked about the communication clampdown in the Valley and reported that the government has decided to restore some of the telephone lines from Friday night and efforts are also underway to restore BSNL connectivity in the Valley. This, Moizee said, could happen from Saturday, depending on normalcy in the areas.

‘Offices of J&K Govt Functioned Normally on Friday’

Offices of the J&K government in the Valley functioned normally on Friday, Moizee said, quoting Subrahmanyam. The attendance in many government offices was reportedly "quite high".

'No Loss of Life in the Valley Since Imposition of Restrictions'

Another key takeaway from the press briefing, Moizee said, was Subrahmanyam's assertion that there has been no loss of life or major injury since restrictions were imposed in the Valley on 5 August.

Moizee said he had asked the chief secretary whether people performed namaaz inside mosques, and that the latter refused to answer his question, saying the administration hasn't received any information about the issue. However, sources told The Quint that namaaz hasn't been performed at Jama Masjid in Nowhatta.

Earlier, The Quint had managed to track Farooq Abdullah in order to interview him but Moizee was denied entry into Abdullah's house by the security personnel deployed outside the NC leader's house.

As per the government's claim, Farooq Abdullah hasn't been put under house arrest.

When Moizee asked Subrahmanyam as to why wasn't he allowed entry into Abdullah's house, Subrahmanyam reportedly said that the press briefing wasn't organised "to talk about specific people" and that the administration "doesn't have information" relating to those persons.

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