SRINAGAR: Government officials in Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK) said on Friday that landline telephone service has been restored following a month-long communication blackout imposed by India after it revoked the valley’s special constitutional status through a rushed presidential order on August 5.
On Thursday, large queues of people were seen outside offices and homes that had a landline connection as locals tried to talk with family and friends after landline communication was restored by the government.
A resident of Srinagar, namely Syed Musahid, said, “Landlines have been restored in the valley but we are still finding it hard to talk to our near and dear ones. I have been trying to make calls without any success and it is very frustrating for me.”
Meanwhile, Kashmiris living outside the occupied region said that they were also finding it hard to talk to their families in IoK.
“I have tried a hundred times to reach my family in Kashmir, and only talked to them once,” said Bint-e-Ali, a Kashmiri living in Bengaluru area of India. She also said that she has yet to talk with her ailing grandmother living in Srinigar.
“I hope I live to tell this grim tale of Indian atrocities to our next generation,” she added.
On the other hand, the Indian government said that they suspended communications in the valley to prevent rumours from spreading after Article 370 was revoked. The communication blackout has completely cut-off Kashmiris from the rest of the world.
Srinagar resident Firdous Ahmad said that the restoration of landline service in the valley was like a breath of fresh air for the locals. He hoped that mobile phone and internet services would also be restored soon by the Indian government.
According to the Press Trust of India, restrictions have been lifted on daytime movement of Kashmiris but security checkpoints remained in place.
Protests over India’s illegal move to dissolve the special status of Kashmir were quelled by the Indian security personnel with pellet guns and tear gas.