Restrictions eased in 35 PS areas, 50,000 landline phones restored
STATE TIMES NEWSSrinagar: Restrictions on the movement of people were eased and landline phone services were restored in some areas of Kashmir Valley on Saturday, even as stringent security arrangements remained in place, officials said. They said the restrictions have been relaxed in 35 police station areas of Kashmir, while 17 telephone exchanges, out of the total 96, have been made functional. More than 50,000 landline phones were operational now, the officials said, adding that the services will be restored in other areas in a ‘calibrated manner’. Security forces continued to remain deployed, while barricades remained on the roads, but people were allowed to move after checking their credentials, they said. Government spokesperson Rohit Kansal said primary schools across the Valley will reopen on Monday and government offices will also be fully functional from then. Some shops in the Civil Lines area opened on Saturday morning, the officials said, adding that there was increase in movement of private vehicles. The officials said landline services were restored in some areas of Srinagar like Civil Lines, Cantonment, Airport, Raj Bagh and Jawahar Nagar, but remained suspended in most parts, including the commercial hub of Lal Chowk and Press Enclave. The officials said 20 more exchanges will be operationalised soon. The restoration of exchanges had enabled landline services in Budgam, Sonamarg and Manigam areas of central Kashmir. In north Kashmir, the services have been restored in Gurez, Tangmarg, Uri, Keran, Karnah and Tangdhar areas. In south Kashmir, the landline services have been made operational in Qazigund and Pahalgam areas. There was increase in movement of private vehicles in the Civil Lines areas and other district headquarters of the Valley, the officials said, adding that some inter-district cabs were also seen plying in Dalgate area of the summer capital.
Most of the business establishments, including fuel stations, remained shut.
Addressing a press conference, Kansal said that the relaxations have been eased out in 35 police station areas.
“The process of providing relaxation and easing out of restrictions is already in progress. Relaxation has been provided in 35 police station areas across the length and breadth of the Valley and so far, there are no reports of any untoward incident. The public transport is plying and we have encouraging reports regarding public movement,” Kansal said.
“The endeavour is to make at least half of the exchanges in the Valley functional by today evening and by tomorrow evening, all of the exchanges, barring few in the vulnerable areas, would be made functional,” he said.
On a question regarding release of detained political leaders, Kansal said that the decision would be taken by local authorities based on the law and order situation in their respective areas.
On return of Hajis from tomorrow (Sunday) Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan, informed that a comprehensive plan is in place to facilitate to commute the Hajis to their respective places.
He said two flights are slated to land tomorrow morning at Srinagar Airport carrying more than 300 Hajis, for which ten counters for ten districts have been set up with nodal officers to facilitate them.
He further said that the passes to the relatives of Hajis have been issued through concerned deputy commissioners.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Swayam Prakash Pani and Director Information and Public Relations Dr Syed Sehrish Asgar were also present on the occasion.
Deliberating on the present situation, IGP Kashmir SP Pani said that the administration is calibrating the situation and in this regard easing is done in gradual manner.
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