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After 5 months of blackout SMS, voice calls restored on prepaid mobiles in J&K

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Srinagar, Jan 18: Months after ban in voice calls and SMS after the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, on Saturday the voice calls and SMS services have been restored for prepaid mobile connections in the valley, officials of the newly formed union territory confirmed this, in the latest measure to relax some of the severe restrictions enforced last August.

According to a senior official Rohit Kansal, the 2G internet services will also be restored with some restrictions on postpaid SIM cards in Bandipora and Kupwara districts of Kashmir and 10 other districts of Jammu.

After 5 months of blackout SMS, voice calls restored on prepaid mobiles in J&K

While addressing at a press conference, Kansal also added that to provide mobile internet connectivity on such SIM cards, the telecom service providers will have to verify the credentials of the subscribers.

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Kansal further told that the internet service providers have also been asked to provide fixed line internet connectivity in all the 10 districts of Jammu region, two districts of Kupwara and Bandipora as well as in North Kashmir.

After the abrogation of Article 370, the centre had enforced a strict communications blackout in the valley on August 5 last year.

On August 5, 219, Centre scrapped the erstwhile state Jammu & Kashmir's special status under Section 370 of the Constitution and bifurcated it into two union territories. The extended blackout has been criticised by many in India and abroad, including the United Nations and the US government.

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Earlier, this week, after more than five months of blackout, broadband internet connectivity was partially restored for institutions in Kashmir. However, the government order said that the social networking sites will remain under complete restriction.

This decision to restore mobile connectivity came after the Supreme Court, in response to a petition last week, ordered a review of all the restrictive orders that are still in place.

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