Govt Offices In Kashmir Functional, Schools To Reopen In Phases: Chief Secy

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New Delhi: Government offices in Jammu and Kashmir have become fully functional, J&K Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam told the media on Friday.

He further said that schools will reopen from Monday “area wise” and telecom services will be restored in a phased manner, NDTV reported.

“After today’s Friday prayers, there would be an easing of restrictions in the next few days in an orderly manner. Schools will be opened after the weekend, area wise, so that children’s studies do not suffer,” the secretary said.

“Government offices have been made fully functional from today (Friday). Telecom connectivity will be gradually restored in a phased manner, exchange by exchange,” he added.

Governor Satya Pal Malik has directed the civil secretariat in Srinagar and government offices to resume normal functioning from Friday, state broadcaster All India Radio said.

Earlier on Friday, the government told the Supreme Court that the restrictions in Kashmir will be removed over the next few days.

The government response came to a petition that sought the immediate lifting of restrictions on the media amid a more than 10-day lockdown. “The ground situation is being reviewed daily and the Supreme Court must trust the security agencies,” the Centre said, adding the situation is improving gradually.

The petition was filed by Kashmir Times executive editor Anuradha Bhasin, seeking the top court’s directive for immediate restoration of communication lines so that the media can function freely in the region.

The petitioner also pushed for the Centre to relax all restrictions on the movement of mediapersons in Kashmir and some districts of Jammu. She claimed that she has not been able to publish the local edition of Kashmir Times because of restrictions on media activities.

“I have read a media report that restrictions on landline and broadline are likely to be removed by today evening (Friday),” Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said.

The government’s lawyer, KK Venugopal, contended that the newspaper is being published from Jammu, where the curbs have been lifted, and not from Srinagar.

The SC said it will take up the matter on media restrictions along with other related matters, without fixing a date for the next hearing.

Notably, phone services and internet connections remain suspended in Kashmir and curfew-like restrictions are in place. Earlier, the Home Ministry had said the restrictions will be removed in a phased manner.

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