Now, Govt resorts to favoritism in broadband shutdown

Srinagar: Even as the government has completed the ban on internet services in restive Kashmir through recent blockade of the broadband connectivity, those in the “good books” of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party led coalition continue to enjoy the landline internet connectivity.

The BSNL has spared scores of numbers from blockade. While the “influential” Friends Enclave at Humhama in totality continues to enjoy broadband services without any break, some connections in Bemina, Raj Bagh, Lal Chowk and Dalgate area are equally operational.

Sources in the BSNL said the government had given a “list of connections”, which need to be kept operational even during the ban.

Insiders said around 1000 broadband connections mostly owned by those who happen to be the favorites with the ruling coalition are still working.

A PDP leader asking not to be identified confirmed that the broadband connections of their “internet active workers like IbneBatutta” were active.

“Basically the party leadership had requested the government to spare some of their vital connections from being snapped,” said the leader.

The discrimination has drawn widespread criticism.

The lawyers have decided to move Court against the discrimination.“Broadband connectivity was a backbone for some of the essential services including hospitals, while it was equally vital for the media persons. But it is clear that the state government doesn’t want the people of Kashmir to get any access to the outside world,” said Advocate Suhail Ahmed.

The opposition National Conference said the discrimination in internet ban has exposed the level of favoritism in the PDP led government.

“Discrimination in ban was something unheard of. It seems this atrocious Mufti government has crossed all limits of abuse,”  National Conference Youth President Salman Ali Sagar said.

When contacted GMT BSNL said the service provider was working as per the directions of the state government.

“We have not done anything out of our own. We acted exactly the way the government wanted us to do,” he said.

He said the ban on internet would continue till the government asks them to restore the services.

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