Communication blockade doesn’t affect Kashmiris alone

Srinagar, October 13 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, the communication blockade has affected more people than just its residents.

It has been over two months since the Indian government took the decision to scrap Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and suspend mobile connectivity and internet services in the territory.

An Indian Army soldier from Uttarakhand, while talking about the communication blockade said, “How many times will we go to the company to call home? I just find an STD booth when I can and talk to my family for a minute or two. Having your own phone is different. Now I just ask if everything is okay at home and end the conversation.”

After September 15, the mobile numbers of certain police officers were also made functional. One such officer, on condition of anonymity, revealed, “I was in a park walking around and my phone rang. The troops posted outside were surprised to see it ring. They never asked how my phone was working but instead just wanted a chance to call back home. I remained in that park for over two hours while they made calls home one after the other. One of them was talking to his mother and crying.”

Another soldier, posted near Lal Chowk, commented on how easy it had become to call home and talk for hours when they were off duty before the imposition of communications blockade.

Another soldier from Maharashtra said that there would be a lot to discuss under ordinary circumstances. “A private phone is a private phone. There are a hundred household things to discuss,” he said.

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