Government in no mood to lift cellular internet ban

Srinagar: Cellular internet ban remained snapped in Kashmir Valley for the 85th consecutive day on Saturday. Prepaid users have also been deprived from the outgoing call facilities. Ever since the commencement of the cellular operations in Valley, this is for the first time when barring state owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) private cellular operators have been banned from providing phone and internet services for such a longer period. During Omar Abdullah led government in 2010, phone services were never snapped; however, the then government banned mobile internet service for four days. It is also for the first time when the government this time snapped broad-band services for almost a week.

There are people in people who believe that restoration of mobile internet service may a distant dream now as according to them the callous attitude of the government towards the problems of the people particularly youth leaves no room for the restoration of cellular internet services.      

Fearing law-and-order problem,Mehbooba Mufti led government had snapped mobile Internet services in the entire Kashmir region after popular Hizb poster boy Burhan Wani was killed on July 8 in South Kashmir.

A senior People’s Democratic Party leader wishing not to be named informed media that the decision to revoke internet and outgoing call facilities has to be left on Jammu Kashmir Police as according to him, police is directly involved in the law and order situation. “If I would have been in command, I would have restored the services because I don’t take mobile internet service any threat to the peace. There are people like me in the party who are against this cellular ban as they believe such tactics only alienate people and prove counterproductive in the long run,” the PDP leader said.  

A senior official said that cellular internet service will be resorted only after the situation normalizes in Valley. “At present the situation is not conducive for resuming the mobile Internet services as there are apprehensions that rumors at this stage may worsen the situation. Different government agencies have no proper and effective mechanism to keep a check on ‘rumor mongering’ through social media,” he said.

Pertinently, the student community and those people from Kashmir staying abroad had repeatedly requested the state government to lift the ban on phone and internet services, but government did not give any heed to those requests and even today no minister from the government was ready to comment on the subject. (CNS)

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