US Congress committee urges India to lift communication blackout in Kashmir

India welcomes tourists back to Kashmir amid protests

However, Britain and other countries still have advisories in place discouraging their citizens from travelling to Jammu and Kashmir, where a grenade attack injured 10 people at the weekend.

Powerful Democratic Senator Mark Warner, who is co-chair of the Senate India Caucus, on Tuesday said that he is "disturbed by restrictions" on communications and movement of people in Jammu and Kashmir and asked the government to live up to democratic principles by allowing freedom of press, information and political participation.

On the upcoming Block Development Council (BDC) elections, Governor Satya Pal Malik held a Situation cum Security Review Meeting yesterday with the Advisors and the Chief Secretary.

More than 340,000 tourists and Hindu pilgrims were forced to scramble for buses and planes out of the region after the Indian government issued the travel advisory.

Tourists warned by India to leave Kashmir just days before stripping the restive valley of its autonomy will be welcomed back later this week, the region's governor said Monday.

The Governor has been holding Situation cum Security Review Meetings on a daily basis for 2 hours generally from 6 to 8 pm each day since 5th August, 2019.

Initially, the meetings focussed on reviewing the security scenario following the imposition of restrictions after constitutional changes that were made. "But today, we are compelled to take a decision to boycott BDC polls due to indifferent attitude of the state administration and continued detention of senior party leaders in the valley", news agency PTI quoted state Congress president Ghulam Ahmad Mir as saying.

The decisions also included the opening of 25 internet kiosks in each district to facilitate the public and government departments and monitoring attendance in government offices, he added.

In Monday's meeting the Governor was briefed about the October 24 BDC elections.

The spokesman said all assistant returning officers and assistant electoral registration officer (AEROs) have been provided mobile phone facility to ensure smooth conduct of elections.

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