Internet to remain completely suspended in Shopian, Pulwama districts

Srinagar: The administration has further extended the ongoing over nine-month long suspension of high-speed mobile internet in Jammu and Kashmir till May 27 citing reports of militants trying to “avenge” the recent killings including that of Hizb operational commander Riyaz Naikoo in Pulwama last week.

Prolonging the ban came on a day when the Supreme Court of India refused to pass any order on the petitions seeking resumption of 4G internet in J&K even as the apex court called for setting up a high-level committee headed by Secretary MHA to “examine” the issue.

In an extension order passed late Monday, Principal Secretary to J&K Government Shaleen Kabra said “there are credible inputs from intelligence agencies that terrorists may make desperate attempts to avenge the reverses in the recent past.”

The order also listed “increased presence” of militants in “thickly populated areas” as the reasons to continue with the ban.

“Over the past few weeks, there has been a sharp increase in terror related incidents – ranging from isolated attacks on civilians, hurling of grenades in public places, indiscriminate firing and attacks on the security forces’ personnel…increased presence of terrorists in the thickly populated areas…,” reads the order.

It says that high-speed mobile internet is likely to be used for “coordinating acts of terror – both within and from across the border.”

“On examining the reports of the field agencies and the prevailing security situation, there is apparent necessity to take suitable steps to prevent misuse of internet for incitement and propagation of terror activities…it is considered appropriate that while the mobile internet is restored in Kashmir Valley excluding Pulwama and the adjoining district of Shopian, it is restricted to 2G speed.”

The new order remains in force till May 27.

To mention, high-speed internet in J&K was suspended in August last year when Article 370 was abrogated and J&K was divided into two union territories.

Much to the disappointment of Kashmiris, three petitions demanding restoration of the services were disposed of on Monday after weeks of deliberation.

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A journalist by chance with over five years of experience in reporting, editing, and bucketing local, national and international content for my current organization. I have covered education, health, politics, and human rights. I like working for a daily, though I occasionally try my pen in long-form to connect personal narratives with history.

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