Postpaid mobile phone services to resume in Kashmir from Monday

The full front-page government ad in the Greater Kashmir daily

The full front-page government ad in the Greater Kashmir daily

The communication restrictions and the detention of hundreds of people including politicians came under severe criticism across the country as well as globally.

"The government urges businessmen, industrialists, traders, transporters, shopkeepers, hoteliers and contractors not to be frightened by any threats by terrorists and separatists and go about their normal activities", Kansal said Saturday in Srinagar, the main city in Indian-controlled Kashmir. Over 99 per cent of J&K has no restriction on movement. He said tourists are welcome to visit the state and the government would facilitate their visit. Internet facilities are being opened at tourist spots to assist those who would want to access it, he added.

J&K Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal said there has been a gradual removal of restrictions since August 16 and by the first week of September, most restrictions were removed.

Most stores, schools and businesses across Kashmir have been closed since the Hindu nationalist government brought the region under tighter central control on Aug 5. "Credible inputs are being received about the likelihood of large-scale terrorist attacks, sponsored by forces inimical to the nation and from outside its borders".

The senior bureaucrat also said that telephone landlines have been fully restored and are functioning for more than six weeks.

"The restrictions were imposed so that externally-aided terrorism does not lead to a loss of innocent lives. It is remarkable given the history of events in 2008, 2010 and 2016", he said, citing previous incidents of unrest in the Valley where over 300 civilians have been killed during protests.

Kansal said all those detained would be released gradually after review. "It is a dynamic process and cases are being reviewed", he said.

A Kashmiri woman walks through an empty street in Anchar neighbourhood, during restrictions following the scrapping of the special constitutional status.

Ms Iltija Mufti, a daughter of Kashmir's former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, one of the politicians in detention, said global pressure has forced the government's hand but the response was "very little, very late".

The press conference was also attended by Inspector General of Police for Kashmir S.P. Pani, Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir Basheer Khan, and Director of Information & Public Relations, Syed Sehrish Asgar.

Few vendors set up stalls on the TRC Chowk-Lal Chowk road here. Private transport was plying unhindered in Srinagar and other districts across the valley, the officials said. The Kashmir valley has been witnessing continuous shutdown since August 5.

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