2G Mobile internet services to be restored in Kashmir with restrictions
Srinagar : The Jammu and Kashmir administration will be restoring the broadband and mobile internet connectivity in the new Union Territory Kashmir from Saturday (January 25) but with restrictions. Internet access will be limited only to "whitelisted" websites, and social media platforms will remain out of bounds for its residents.
However, the internet connectivity speed in the region will be limited to 2G technology for now. According to the release, internet services will be accessible on both the postpaid and prepaid mobile sim cards.
The restriction on the internet services will be reviewed on January 31.
It has been over six months when the internet services were axed in Jammu and Kashmir on the back drop of protests against the government's decision to scrap Jammu and Kashmir's special status and bifurcate the state into two Union Territories.
"It is hereby directed that mobile data services and Internet access through fixedline shall be allowed across the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir with the following restrictions... The aforesaid direction shall come into effect from January 25, 2020, and remain in force till January 31, 2020, unless modified earlier," read the order issued by the home department of the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Friday.
The move by the government had received a lot of criticism from human rights activists and after Supreme Court's decision to relax the restriction, the move has been taken forward. "Suspension of free movement, Internet and basic freedoms cannot be an arbitrary exercise of power," the court had said then, adding that Internet connectivity is integral to an individual's right to freedom of speech and expression.
The three-judge bench led by Justice NV Ramanna also maintained that "expression of dissent or disagreement against a government decision cannot be reason enough for Internet suspension".