- 600 phones for troops in Kashmir approved by NSA Ajit Doval
- Phones approved to ensure soldiers are able to contact family amid communications blackout
- There is virtual blackout in Kashmir with few workable mobile phones
As the Valley continues to reel under communications blackout, it’s not just the Kashmiris who are suffering. The security personnel, deployed in Kashmir to maintain law and order amid restrictions, are equally disconnected from the outside world.
To ensure that the troops stationed in the Valley are able to establish contact with their family and friends, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval has reportedly directed the authorities to make available 600 phones to security personnel, sources have said.
Reacting to the development, a soldier in Srinagar said he was worried about his family. I have no idea what is going back home. Mobile phone was one easy way to speak to the family at least once in a day, he said as he added, But this is our duty. I can only hope all is well back home.
Another soldier hoped that the information blackout is over soon. This is part of the strategy to control the crowd. But the connectivity has never gone out for this long, he told India Today TV.
NSA AJIT DOVAL ON GROUND ZERO
NSA Ajit Doval has been camping in Kashmir to monitor the situation after the government abrogated provisions of Article 370 for Jammu and Kashmir and split the state into two Union Territories.
While NSA Ajit Doval has approved 600 phones for troops, an estimate number of 1,000 mobile phones of top brass, including civil and administration, are already working.
Meanwhile, Kashmir continues to be under clampdown, five days after the historic announcement by the Centre on scrapping of Article 370 provisions. The mobile network, landlines are still not working in Kashmir.
Baseer Ahmed Khan, Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir, announced that 30 public booths will be shortly made available for the locals to get in touch with their loved ones. Around 30 phones per district will be installed for the purporse.
With Eid celebrations marriage season in Kashmir taking a hit due to restrictions, the locals wait for normalcy to return. This is heights. We are not even able to call through mobile or landline, a businesswoman said as she added that this was generating anger among people in Kashmir.