SRINAGAR: The J&K Government on Thursday extended the 4G mobile internet ban till December 11 in Jammu and Kashmir except for 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, “Whereas, with the announcement of elections to the District Development Council constituencies and by-elections to fill the vacancies in the Panchayati Raj Institutions/Urban Local Bodies, intense political activity is being witnessed across the Union territory of the J&K, with extensive campaigning by the contesting candidates. At the same time, there have been continued attempts from across the border to disrupt the elections process by vitiating the security environment.”
“Whereas, the law enforcement agencies have well founded apprehensions of enhanced efforts by Pakistan for causing public disaffection, recruitment in the militants’ ranks as well as infiltration attempts, which heavily depend upon high speed internet. There has also been a surge in militant activities, specific instances being that at Ban Toll Plaza, Nagrota, Jammu and Parimpora, Srinagar,” reads the order.
“Whereas, upon consideration of the available inputs, and taking note of misuse of social media applications in carrying out terror activities as also in adversely impacting public order, it is apparent that there is need for continuation of the speed restrictions on mobile internet services,” it reads.
“Now, therefore, 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, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of section 5 of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and sub-rule (1) of rule 2 of the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017, hereby order that the directions/restrictions contained in Government Order No. 120(TSTS) of 2020 dated 12.11.2020 shall continue to remain in force till 11.12.2020, unless modified earlier,” it added.
“The IsGP, Kashmir/Jammu shall communicate these directions to the service providers forthwith and ensure their implementation in letter and spirit,” reads the order.