Any decision on communication blockade has to factor in aspects like continuous provocation by Pak: J&K Government

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir government Thursday said the situation in the Valley was fast returning towards normalcy but a decision on easing the communication blockade will be taken after factoring in various aspects including provocation by Pakistan.

"The movement of traffic has increased manifold as you can see ... The situation is fast returning towards normalcy," government spokesman Rohit Kansal told reporters here.

He said restrictions have been removed from almost all areas and the situation in the Valley was by and large peaceful.

"We have had 187 law and order incidents since August 5 with 165 of these reported from Srinagar district alone. There was an increase in law-and- order incidents from August 5 to August 16 but after that there has been a constant decline," he added.

Kansal said while landlines have been restored across the Valley, considerable number of mobile phones have been made functional in Kupwara and Handwara areas of Kashmir.

"There continues to be tremendous provocation from across the border.

Any decision on restoring mobile services will have to factor it in also," he said.

Asked about the inconvenience faced by students in applying for competitive examinations, he said the administration is aware of the situation and has set up internet kiosks at all 12 district headquarters for facilitating the public.

"We will continue to facilitate them as and when needed," he said.

All telecommunication and internet facilities were snapped in Kashmir on August 5, hours before Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced abrogation of provisions of Article 370 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories.

In response to a question, Kansal said the law-enforcing agencies have taken note of incidents where militants and anti-national elements were threatening the shopkeepers.

"Action will be taken to ensure that no one is harassed on this count," he added.

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