SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Friday extended the 4G mobile internet ban till January 22 in all districts, except in Ganderbal and Udhampur.
Internet services were cut off in Jammu and Kashmir last year on August 5, hours before the Centre revoked Article 370 of the Constitution and split the state into two Union Territories. The low-speed or 2G internet service on mobile phones was restored on January 25, although outages continue to be imposed intermittently amid a complete ban on 4G network. On August 16, the government restarted high-speed mobile data service in Ganderbal and Udhampur districts on a “trial basis”, as part of “calibrated easing of restrictions”.
The order issued by Principal Secretary to the Government, Home Department reads that, “whereas, certain restrictions have been placed on access to high-speed mobile data connectivity to curb uploading/downloading/circulation of provocative videos and defeat the nefarious designs of the forces within and from across the border to create a narrative by running a disinformation campaign.”
“The apprehensions of the law enforcement agencies regarding misuse of high-speed mobile data services for infiltration and for coordinating (militant) activities gets credence from the investigation of ongoing cases and recent incident of interception of (militants) and recoveries of arms/ammunition, with increased activity on the IB/LoC,” reads the order.
“Now, therefore, on consideration of the overall security scenario and the reports of the law enforcement agencies inter-alia bringing out the necessity for the continuation of speed-related restrictions on mobile data services to prevent misuse of social media as also taking note of the (militant) activities during the last fortnight, I, Principal Secretary to the Government, Home Department, being satisfied that it is absolutely necessary so to do, in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the Security of the State and for maintaining public order, hereby order that the directions/restrictions contained in Government Order No. 143(TSTS) of 2020 dated 25.12.2020 shall continue to remain operative till January 22, 2021, unless modified earlier.”
“The IGsP, Kashmir and Jammu shall communicate these directions to the service providers forthwith and ensure their implementation in letter and spirit,” reads the order.