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Prepaid mobile services restored in JK

Monitor News Bureau

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Jammu, Jan 18: Voice and SMS facility on all local pre-paid sim cards across the Union Territory of J&K shall be restored today.

This was stated by the Principal Secretary Planning, Rohit Kansal, who is also the Government Spokesperson at a press conference held, here today.

Giving details of the decisions taken by the Government for further enhancement in access and communication facilities in the Union Territory of J&K, Rohit Kansal said, that the companies that are engaged in Software (IT/ITES) Services shall be provided with fixed line internet connectivity by the Internet Service Providers (ISPs- BSNL/Private Service Providers) with the precautions as already directed as per the order issued by the Home Department in the last week.

 

He further announced that 2G mobile data services on the post-paid mobiles for accessing white-listed sites now, shall be allowed in all the 10 districts of Jammu division. The 2G mobile internet shall also be restored in the revenue districts of Kupwara & Bandipora of Kashmir Valley, he added. The mobile internet connectivity shall, however, remain suspended in the districts of Srinagar, Budgam, Ganderbal, Baramulla, Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama, he added.

With regard to the details of the white listed companies, the Principal Secretary said that the competent authority has released a list of all 153 websites that have been identified as white list category and can be accessed through 2G mobile data services.

Rohit Kansal informed the media persons that to consider provision of mobile internet connectivity on pre-paid sim cards, the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) shall initiate the process for verification of credentials of these subscribers as per the norms applicable for post-paid connections.

The telecom operators are being issued instructions to operationalize the above directions immediately providing for all the safeguards detailed in the order issued by the competent authority, he added.

Pertinently, the Government had ordered restoration of 2G mobile data services on the post-paid mobiles for accessing white-listed sites in the five districts of Jammu division including Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Udhampur and Reasi on January 15, 2020.

Rohit Kansal further reiterated that the overall effort of the Government shall be to facilitate and to keep restrictions to the bare minimum based on the ground situation.

Internet services, landline and mobile phones were snapped across Jammu and Kashmir on the eve of Centre’s announcement to scrap special status of the erstwhile state and its bifurcation into Union Territories on August 5.

While most of the services except mobile internet were restored in Jammu within a week, Kashmir witnessed restoration of landlines and postpaid mobile services and internet facilities to essential services like hospitals in phases.

“After a careful review, the competent authority has ordered today (Saturday) that voice and SMS facility shall be restored on all local prepaid SIM cards across the Union Territory of J&K.

“Further in order to consider, provision of mobile internet connectivity on such SIM cards, the telecom service providers shall initiate the process of verification of credentials for thesesubscribers as per available norms for postpaid subscribers,” Kansal, who is the official spokesperson of the government, said.

On January 10, the Supreme Court came down heavily on the UT administration for arbitrarily shutting down the internet, the facility described as a fundamental right by the apex court.

Referring to the January 14 order when the government announced partial restoration of 2G services in five of the 10 districts of Jammu and broadband facilities for essential services including banks, government offices, trade, tourism and travel establishments, Kansal said the overall effort is to keep the restrictions to bare minimum based on the ground situation.

As per the order issued by Principal Secretary, Home Department, Shaleen Kabra “the directions would be effective from Saturday and remain in force till January 24, unless modified earlier.

“Assessment of the overall security scenario in the UT of J and K pursuant to directions on January 14 relating to the regulation of telecom services does not indicate any immediate adverse impact in the areas where internet access was provided,” the order read.


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Lead Stories

Bukhari’s ‘Apni Party’ constitution in making

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, Feb 23: Former minister Altaf Bukhari and his team are in the process of framing the constitution of ‘Apni Party’, the third front being formed to kick-start the stalled political process in Kashmir, courtesy Centre’s detention of major political players.

 “The draft constitution has entered its final stage and is awaiting approval. We will declare our party anytime as all the formalities have been completed,” Bukhari said in an exclusive chat with The Kashmir Monitor.

‘Apni Party’ is meant to work as a third front to resume political activities in Kashmir at a time when three former CMs and other major political leaders are facing PSAs and detention since August when J&K simultaneously lost its statehood and special status.

 

Bukhari, a former PDP Minister, has been busy lately in garnering support of those political leaders, who managed to remain free, possibly in lieu of their silence.

On Saturday, Bukhari met BJP National General Secretary, Ram Madhav in Gulmarg, who, interestingly, a day after said that he wants the situation in Jammu and Kashmir to become conducive for normal political activity to resume.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, senior Congress leader and former MLA Bandipora Usman Majeed resigned from the party to join hands with Bukhari.

Besides Usman, Bukhari’s team, so far, includes former MLA Ghulam Hassan Mir, and former PDP leaders Dilwar Mir, Javaid Beigh, Noor Muhammad Shiekh, Rafi Ahmad Mir, Abdul Majeed Paddar, and Abdul Raheem Rather.

The buzz of a ‘third front’ was further confirmed when in January these former MLAs met Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu and envoys of 15 countries during the latter’s visit to Kashmir.

Bukhari said his party will differentiate itself from the mainstream parties through its “agenda of working to solve the issues of people”.

“After August 5, people lost their hopes as economy, development took a back seat. Our party will raise issues like providing domicile rights over land and jobs, releasing of political leadership from detention, protecting J&K Bank’s autonomy,” he said.

“We are not hereditary politicians but common people. Apni Party is a party run by common people for common people. When we thought of its name, we considered interests of all the regions,” he said.

Congress leader Majeed also confirmed his association with Bukhari and said they are going to work together “for betterment of people.”

“Yes, I have resigned from Congress as the party has a specific agenda which is no different from that of BJP. I just needed a free space to work for the betterment of people and decided to quit the party. We are many former MLAs who are with Altaf Sahab,” he said.

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Usman quits Cong to join Bukhari

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Feb 23: Congress leader and former Bandipora legislator Usman Abdul Majid Sunday announced his resignation from the party.

Usman is one of the nearly two dozen leaders who have joined hands to structure a new political podium in Jammu and Kashmir led by former minister Altaf Bukhari, which would likely be formed in the first week of March.

Usman has announced his resignation during a convention in Bandipora on Sunday.

 

“Yes, I am resigning from the party because Congress is no different agenda as it has its own particular agenda. I want to work freely for my people,” he told The Kashmir Monitor.

Asked if he was joining Altaf’s upcoming party, Usman said: “Yes I am with Altaf Sa’ab.”

Usman said that he will send his resignation to the party on Monday.

Addressing the convention, Usman lashed out at Congress saying it was is “because of it that the people of Kashmir have been suffering from last 70-years.”

“This party is behind the sufferings of Kashmir people,” he said.

Referring to Altaf Bukhari’s ‘Apni Party, Usman said the new party will be floated very soon.

“Regional parties including National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party misled people here over self-rule and autonomy. People in Kashmir are suffering because of their misdeeds,” he said.

He accused Congress of ‘double speak’ and claimed the party leadership was never sincere to the people of the Jammu and Kashmir.

“They would speak one language in Delhi, other at Jammu and quite contrasting in Srinagar,” he said.

 Usman said like-minded people have already joined hands for the new party.

“The party which is being floated is not backed by BJP. Linking our new regional force with BJP is totally baseless and concocted,” he said.

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Want normal political activity to resume: Madhav

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Feb 23: BJP National General Secretary Ram Madhav on Sunday said that everyone in his party wants the situation in Jammu and Kashmir to become conducive for “normal political activity” to resume.

“Keeping the situation of J&K in mind, the government has invoked certain Sections for the detention of some leaders there. When the situation improves and things normalise, everybody will be allowed to do their political activity. We all want the situation in Jammu and Kashmir to become conducive for normal political activity to resume,” Madhav told ANI.

Ram Madhav’s response comes days after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that he was praying for the early release of the three former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir who are currently under detention.

 
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