SRINAGAR: The J&K Government on Tuesday extended the 4G mobile internet ban till October 21 in Jammu and Kashmir except Ganderbal and Udhampur districts.
Internet was banned in Jammu and Kashmir together with phone connectivity on August 5, 2019, when the Government of India stripped the State of its special Constitutional position. Thereafter phones were restored in a phased manner and low-speed 2G internet was resumed on January 25, 2020. High-speed 4G internet was restored in two districts on August 16 and is still banned in other districts of J&K.
In an order, Principal Secretary Home Department Shaleen Kabra said inputs from the law enforcement agencies suggest that concerted efforts continue to be made by Pakistan, with the help of separatists/anti-national elements within the J&K to facilitate infiltration of (militants), which depends heavily on high speed internet as also propagate (militancy) by misuse of social media through circulation of provocative audio/video content, fake news, and coordination of (militant) activities, which too rely upon high speed mobile connectivity.
“During the last fortnight, there have been a number of (militant) incidents and recovery of huge cache of arms/ammunition, and, apprehending disruption to public order, with the larger aim of causing disaffection and discontent against the State, the mobile data services had to be completely suspended, though for limited durations, in some areas of the Kashmir Valley,” reads the order.
It said that keeping in view, the situation requires close monitoring including in the districts of Ganderbal and Udhampur.
Considering the position and reports of the law enforcement agencies, inter-alia bringing out the necessity of speed-related restrictions on mobile data services to prevent its misuse, the Principal secretary ordered that directions issued on September 08 shall continue to remain in force till October 21 October unless modified.
“The IsGP, Kashmir/Jammu, who are the authorized officers in their respective areas of jurisdiction shall ensure communication of these directions to the service providers forthwith and their implementation in letter and spirit,” reads the order issued by Principal Secretary Home Department Shaleen Kabra.