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Hours after mobiles restored, SMS services blocked in Kashmir

The service was stopped as a "precautionary measure" after two terrorists gunned down a truck driver

By PTI in Srinagar
  • Published 15.10.19, 12:38 PM
  • Updated 15.10.19, 12:38 PM
  • a min read
A woman talks to her relatives in Srinagar, Monday, October 14, 2019. Hours after mobile phone services on postpaid connections were restored in Kashmir on Monday, SMS services were stopped as a "precautionary measure." PTI

SMS services were stopped as a "precautionary measure" a few hours after postpaid mobile phone connections were restored in the Kashmir Valley, officials said on Tuesday.

Mobile phone services for postpaid subscribers resumed in Kashmir after 72 days on Monday noon, but without any internet facilities. By about 5 pm, SMS services were stopped too, officials said.

"SMS services were stopped last evening as a precautionary measure," said an official.

Two terrorists, including a suspected Pakistani national, shot dead the driver of a Rajasthan truck and assaulted an orchard owner in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir around 8 pm on Monday.

The deceased was identified as Sharief Khan and the terrorists carried out the attack in Shirmal village in desperation as fruit transportation was picking up in the Valley, police said.

Over 25 lakh prepaid mobile phones and other internet services, including WhatsApp, remain deactivated for now, officials said.

Governor Satya Pal Malik said on Monday that internet services would be resumed very soon, but officials in the security establishment maintained the process might take up to two months.

A decision on prepaid subscribers could be taken next month, they said.

Phones fell silent on August 5, when the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status granted under Article 370 and reorganised the state into two union territories.

In Jammu, communication was restored within days of the blockade and mobile internet was started around mid-August. However, internet facility on cell phones was snapped later on August 18.