Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Satya Pal Malik said on Tuesday that restrictions in the Valley will be lifted after August 15 celebrations. He said mobile phones and the internet were being "used as weapons to misguide youth."
"We don't want to give that instrument to the enemy until things settle down. In a week or 10 days, everything will be alright and we will gradually open lines of communications," Malik told The Times of India.
Amid a security lockdown, mobile and landline phones were blocked in the Valley after the government revoked the special status for Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the constitution. The move also bifurcated the state into two union territories -- Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
The state's administrative officials also said on Tuesday that the restrictions will be eased in a phased manner after the rehearsals for the Independence Day conclude. The restrictions will only be removed after an assessment by local authorities, state officials added.
Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal referred to the lockdown in the region as "almost entirely" free of restrictions with exceptions in certain areas. "We are hopeful that once the full dress rehearsals for Independence Day that is being carried out in various districts of J&K and Ladakh conclude, there will be further relaxations," he said at a press conference on Tuesday.
Citing security provisions, Kansal said the lockdown was necessary. "We are conscious and sensitive to the difficulties being faced by everybody as a result of these restrictions. But I do wish to emphasise that reasonable restrictions may sometimes be necessary to prevent mischief mongers from carrying out any untoward incident," he added.
Detained J&K politicians including former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah are likely to be released after the assessments conclude.
Meanwhile the Supreme Court dismissed a plea for lifting the J&K restrictions on Tuesday and said the situation should be allowed to return to normal on its own. The Central government assured the court saying "normalcy would be restored in Kashmir in a few days."
The Centre has approached the Kashmir issue with caution noting that the last time large scale restrictions were imposed in J&K was in July 2016 after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant leader Burhan Wani. The valley had plunged into wide-scale violence leading to the death of a large number of people.