In a big breaking on Wednesday, centre has announced that SMS services in the valley, and broadband services in schools and colleges of Jammu and Kashmir will be restored. The Centre had after the revocation of Article 370, shutdown the SMS and internet services in J&K, as a precautionary measure to stop the spreading of fake news and rumours.
Informing about the development, Principal secretary Rohit Kansal, said broadband internet services in all government-run hospitals will be restored. “On December 10, some short message service (SMS) were enabled on mobile phones in order to facilitate students, scholarship applicants, traders and others. It has now been decided to fully restore the service throughout Kashmir from midnight of December 31,” news agency PTI quoted Rohit Kansal as saying.
On August 5, Parliament abrogated Article 370 of Indian Constitution that exempted Jammu and Kashmir from following the Indian Constitution except for Article 1 and itself. Announcing the decision in the Parliament, Home Minister Amit Shah said that it will correct a "historic wrong". Additionally, the Modi government bifurcated the state of Jammu and Kashmir and changed its status to Union Territories - Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh.
The bill named Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha by 125-61 margin and the Lok Sabha by a whooping 351-72 margin on August 5,6 respectively. While the Opposition condemned this move calling it an attack on 'Kashmiriyat', Shah said that it will integrate of Jammu and Kashmir with the country like never before.
Ahead of the historic decision, the Central government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi placed around 40,000 troops in the state and placed the mainstream leaders including three chief ministers - NC's Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, and PDP's Mehbooba Mufti on preventive custody. The Centre after intimation from Army also evacuated Amarnath yatris, and the Chinar Corps of Indian Army revealed that they had intelligence inputs that there were attempts of attacks on Amarnath Yatra by Pakistan.
Centre also imposed a complete ban on internet in the valley and phone lines including mobile networks were shut. The Modi government eventually removed restrictions, however, internet shutdown is still in place in some areas of the valley. Even as Modi government has been repeatedly giving proofs of normalcy in the valley, many areas are still under lockdown, almost 6 months after revocation of Article 370.