India to ease clampdown in Jammu and Kashmir in next few days

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India will lift restrictions on people’s movements and communication links in Kashmir in the next few days, the federal government told the Supreme Court on Friday.

The court was hearing a petition by a newspaper editor seeking restoration of telephone and internet services snapped this month, just before the government withdrew Kashmir’s special status, to prevent protests.

The restrictions would be lifted in the “next few days,” the government lawyer, Tushar Mehta, said.

Telphone connections

Some telephone connections in Indian Kashmir will be restored from Friday night, including in the main city of Srinagar, the top state government official said, after a lengthy communications shutdown.

“You will find a lot of Srinagar functioning tomorrow morning,” Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary B.V.R. Subrahmanyam said, in response to a question on restoring of landline telephones.

“Exchange by exchange they will be switching it on,” he said. “Over the weekend, you’ll have most of these lines functional.”

Phone and internet connections were suspended earlier this month just before the federal government revoked Kashmir’s special status to prevent protests.