Mobile Services Restored in Most Parts of Kashmir, say Police



Police officials Wednesday said they have restored telecommunication network in most parts of the Kashmir including in restive northern districts after days of breakdown.

On Tuesday, the Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had asked Director General of Police (DGP) to ensure restoration of mobile phone services. While as militant amalgam United Jihad Council (UJC) as well as Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani also appealed people associated with the telecommunication business to resume their routine work.

The officials told GNS that the restoration was possible only after increased security and patrolling around the mobile phone masts. Many others attribute the restoration to the UJC and Hurriyat statements.

The Deputy Inspector General (DIG) North Kashmir, Garib Dass, said the 90 percent of the mobile services have been restored in the region. “We have restored 90 percent of the telecommunication network in north Kashmir including at Kupwara, Handwara, Sopore, Baramulla, Pattan and Bandipora,” the DIG said, adding: “Now, there are places where we have technical shortages and we are working to restore that as well.”

The senior officer said proper security arrangements have been made for mobile towers and “special teams” have been constituted for the safety of mobile masts. “Policemen would be deployed at sensitive places. The patrolling would be carried out. There would be round the clock security and in coming one or two days, the services would be fully restored,” he said.

The ongoing mobile phone crisis have its roots in North Kashmir’s Sopore where on May 1, last month,  the suspected militants raided telecom outlets of Airtel, Vodafone and Aircel after their “hi-tech communication device” fitted atop on a mobile mast was removed by Airtel officials.

Following the raid, posters of previously unknown “Lashkar-e-Islam” emerged in parts of Sopore calling telecom officials and people associated with it to wind up the business or face bullets. The outfit blamed mobile phones for the killing of top militants in the Town. The threats followed spate of attacks including on telecom officials and retailers which left two people dead.

“Our primary aim at this moment is the restoration of services. Wherever there is threat, police are ready to face but we will not allow any harm to civilians. If need arises, we will shift towers as well. We can relocate them. Our special teams have been conducting patrolling from last three days. Special Operation Group (SOG) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) would be deployed at critical areas and spots,” the DIG Das said.

In south Kashmir, police said “100 percent” mobile phone services have been restored. “We have restored 100 percent telecom services across the south,” the DIG south Kashmir, Nitesh Kumar, said. “In case need arises, we may shift those towers which are sensitive places to safer security zones,” he added.

Police in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal and Srinagar districts said that over 90 percent of the network has been restored and they are maintain strict vigil over the situation. “In Ganderbal, only two towers are non-functional and that too because of technical faults,” police said.

In City here, sources said the police have prepared lists of mobile land owners and also contacted them vis-à-vis telecom operations.

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