Home INDIA SMS Services Blocked in Kashmir Hours After Mobile Phones Restored

SMS Services Blocked in Kashmir Hours After Mobile Phones Restored

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Women look on as they use mobiles phones in Srinagar on October 14, 2019. — AFP

Caravan News

SRINAGAR — Hours after post-paid mobile phone services were restored in the valley after 72 days on Monday, SMS services have been withdrawn as a “precautionary measure,” officials said on Tuesday.

Post-paid mobile phone services were restored in Kashmir Monday afternoon, but internet services remain suspended. And about 5 pm, SMS services had also been suspended, to the utter dismay of about 40 lakh subscribers delighted at the prospect of their phones coming back to life, reports PTI.

“SMS services were stopped last evening as a precautionary measure,” said an official without elaborating further.

Two terrorists, including a suspected Pakistani national, shot dead the driver of a Rajasthan truck and assaulted an orchard owner in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district around 8 pm on Monday, report says

Police said the deceased was identified as Sharief Khan and the terrorists carried out the attack in Shirmal village in desperation as fruit transportation was picking up in the Valley.

Phones fell silent on August 5, when the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and reorganised the state into two union territories.

The government kept to its promise of mobile phones working by Monday noon, but the joy was short-lived. Thousands of subscribers found their services disconnected by telecom companies due to non-payment of bills for the period of the suspension of services.

Till late Monday evening and from early Tuesday, serpentine queues formed outside the offices of telecom companies as subscribers rushed to clear their outstanding bills.

It is a cumbersome process with online payments not an option because of internet services being blocked in Kashmir, many subscribers complained.

While landline phones were restored last month, internet services on all platforms continue to remain suspended.

Over 25 lakh prepaid mobile phones and other internet services, including WhatsApp, remain deactivated for now, officials said.

Governor Satya Pal Malik on Monday said internet services would resume very soon, but officials in the security establishment maintained the process might take up to two months.

A decision on pre-paid subscribers could be taken next month, they said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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