Curbs On Internet Can Cause Another Unrest: PDP

Opposes blocking of Facebook, Youtube in J-K, Calls Move Undemocratic

Srinagar – Expressing serious concern over the partial bloking of the social networking sites here, Opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Thursday said that continuing curbs can bring out the agitated youth on streets.

“This is an undemocratic move by the government, who seem to be worried about themeselves only. The young boys and girls in Our state use internet to stay connected and express themselves.Instead of coming on streets if they express themselves on internet, it should be encouraged,” Mehbooba Mufti said in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly.

Rasing the issue at the outset of the Question hour here, Mehbooba raised the issue of blocking the two sites on mobile internet connections saying besides blocking access to the two sites, the servers have been slowed down.

“The protestes over the blasphemous US made anti-Islam film rock the world, but curbs and estrctions were ordered from Kashmir first. availing this facality in today’s time has become vital. We may not be using it as much but the youth are dependent on it,” she said, adding “if the curbs renmain continue over the freedom of speech, it can cause stir in Kashmir”.

The state government had directed the internet service providers to block the two websites if they faced technical difficulties in blocking the anti-Islam video on these sites, which had led to widespread protests.

“Under the garb of (blocking the) video, an informal ban has been imposed on these sites,” Mehbooba claimed.

Mufti urged Speaker Mohammad Akbar Lone to issue necessary directions to the government in this regard.

The Speaker, however, refused to issue the directions until the government will have to come up with its statement. “If the government does not come up of their own, then the directions can be passed,” Lone responded.

Balwant Singh Mankotia of National Panthers Party and M Y Tarigami of CPI(M) supported the PDP president’s demand.

While the two sites cannot be accessed from mobile internet connections, the same are available on broadband connections through fixed telephone lines and GPRS connections.

Though authorities had refused to “ban” some popular websites, thousands of mobile users here are still complaining of not having easy access social media websites like Facebook and Twitter as well as video-sharing website YouTube.

Even those using broadband services through secured connections are complaining that they cannot access YouTube in the Kashmir Valley.

Various service providers here have also downgraded their 3G service to 2G without any warning, thus depriving users from viewing email attachments and other heavy files on their devices.

However, minister for Science and Technology, Aga Syed Ruhullah while showing complete ignorance had said, “there was no such ban in Kashmir.”

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