Srinagar: Over four-and-a-half months of suspension, broadband internet service was restored in government-run hospitals and SMS facility on all mobile phones from Tuesday midnight in Kashmir.

“It has been decided to restore internet connectivity to all government hospitals with effect from midnight of December 31 besides fully restoring SMS on mobile phones,” Jammu and Kashmir administration spokesman Rohit Kansal told reporters here.

However, Internet and pre-paid mobile services in Kashmir are yet to be restored.

“Continuous efforts of the government have been to facilitate and move forward as much as possible and as quickly as possible, and ever since August 5, we have been progressing in this direction both in Jammu and in Kashmir. We have been moving progressively forward and we will try to ensure as much and as quickly as possible,” Kansal said in response to a question about the restoration of Internet services.

Earlier, postpaid services were restored in Kashmir in October.

Internet services, landline and mobile phones were snapped across Jammu and Kashmir on August 4, a day before the Centre’s announcement to scrap the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and divide it into two union territories.

On August 5, the Centre had abrogated Article 370 provisions that gave special status to J-K and bifurcated the erstwhile state into UTs of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Services were suspended, as per authorities, to prevent ‘miscreants’ from mobilising people against the government’s move.

This move comes just a day after five leaders from the Valley-two from the National Conference (NC) and three from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) were released from detention, more than four months after a host of leaders, including three former Chief Ministers-Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti-were put under detention, to prevent law and order situation from spiralling out of control.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), too, recently called back more than 70 companies of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), which were among those deployed in the union territory to maintain law and order there.

(With PTI inputs)