Srinagar, July 17:Only BSNL mobile services are presently connecting violence-hit Kashmir to the rest of the country. Inter-exchange calls on all telephone connections, except the mobile services of the public sector undertaking, have been suspended due to the prevailing law and order situation.
While landline telephone connections in three north Kashmir districts of Baramulla, Bandipora and Kupwara were snapped yesterday, the inter-exchange calls for all landline connections in the Valley were snapped today. Customers are not able to make calls to any phone outside their respective home districts.
Calls can be made on telephones within a district. While mobile telephony, except BSNL, is suspended across Kashmir for the past eight days, the broadband internet services too have been downed across the Valley. No police or civil administration official was willing to comment on why the telephone services have been downed in the Valley.
However, government sources said the step has been taken to contain the violent protests that has left 39 persons dead and 3160 injured in the clashes that erupted on July 9, a day after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces.
"The protests and mob attacks are being mobilised using telephones. Very reluctantly we have decided to take this step in order to prevent any further loss of life or property," a government source said.
The source said it seems that efforts are made from Pakistan to fuel the situation in Kashmir by organising marches and calling for observing 'black day' on Tuesday.
"In such a situation, curbing a few civil liberties may not be a too big a price to pay for saving lives of innocent people," the source said.