The Indian government is contemplating to lift the restrictions on SMS services in the volatile Kashmir Valley which were blocked along with internet and phone calls after New Delhi abolished the contentious Article 370 from the region.
Mobile internet, however, will remain blocked for now. The resumption of broadband connections in Kashmir region too will be undertaken only on a case-to-case basis and primarily directed at helping the state administration, tourists and students.
According to Times of India, quoting sources – while SMS services, which were started along with resumption of mobile services in Kashmir region last month but suspended within the next few hours itself, are likely to resume soon, there was still no clarity on the timing of selective restoration of broadband connections. “SMS services will be the first indicator of (opening of) internet,” said a senior officer in J&K administration.
The plans to further ease communication restraints came even as home minister Amit Shah held a review meeting on J&K. The meeting was attended by the Union home secretary as well as J&K chief secretary and DGP.
With the restoration of SMS and opening of broadband connections in Kashmir on a case-to-case basis, the next phase of relaxation in communication restrictions will be rolled out. Broadband connections are 100% open in Jammu region, as are SMS services.