Amid the growing clamour for restoring high-speed internet, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, has ordered the restoration of 3G and 4G services in Jammu and Kashmir, news agency GNS quoted Home Ministry as having said.
The high-speed internet continues to be blocked from 233 days of the revocation of the Article 370 and bifurcation of the Jammu and Kashmir into Union territories of J&K (with legislature) and Ladakh (without legislature).
“We have directed the chief secretary of the UT and the 4G internet services in Jammu and Kashmir will be restored shortly,” Minister of State for Home, GoI, G Kishan Reddy told news agency GNS over the phone.
He said that the orders regarding restoration of the internet have been done keeping in view the 21-day lockdown ordered by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to contain the coronavirus spread.
The administration had hitherto restricted the mobile Internet speed to 2G services, citing security reasons.
Amid increasing cases of Coronavirus, the chorus for the restoration of high-speed internet services had grown lately in Jammu and Kashmir.
Many people, including Lok Sabha Member Farooq Abdullah, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Srinagar Mayor Junaid Mattu and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter Iltija Mufti, had called for the restoration of the services to help raise awareness about the virus.
Abdullah also wrote to PM Modi last week, requesting the restoration of 4G Internet services to enable people of JK to work from home.
Amnesty International India had on Thursday last also called for the restoration of 4G Internet services, saying that people in the region should have full access to health and safety-related information.
“There is growing anxiety around the pandemic and unwarranted restrictions on content and dissemination of information only stands to add to the panic. Complete shutdowns or restricting of internet speed or access makes it difficult for people to navigate their way through a difficult time further undermining their trust in the authorities. The Government of India needs to adopt a rights-respecting approach to protect public health and restore access to 4G speed internet,” Avinash Kumar, Executive Director, Amnesty International India, had said.