Srinagar – Suspension of internet till late in the afternoon everyday during the last three days at ‘Media facilitation centre’ in the summer capital, Srinagar, has irked media persons, who depend on the facility to file their news items.
Media persons, including working for different local, national and international media houses, alleged that the internet service has been erratic from the last three days at the media centre, which is the only place where they can assess internet.
“On Thursday, the internet service was suspended due to heavy snowfall. The internet was restored later in the evening. But, again, we were told that internet has been suspended on Friday. The service was resumed only in the evening on Friday. But we were again informed late in the evening on Friday that the service has been suspended again due to technical issue,” the media persons said.
They hoped for the service to be restored soon so that they can work.
Meanwhile, a daily local news paper issued a notice on the front page, apologizing to its readers for publishing only 8 pages due to their inability to access internet at the media centre.
“Today’s edition is restricted to 8 pages as we could not access the internet at the Government-run Media centre in Srinagar due to technical snag there. For the past over three month, the paper is wholly dependent on the media centre for accessing reports from our correspondents and news agencies. Inconveniencies caused to our readers is regretted,” the notice by Greater Kashmir read.
The communication network, including mobile phones, landline and internet, was suspended across Kashmir valley, including Srinagar, on August 5, when Article 370 and Article 35 A were scrapped, as a precautionary measure to prevent rumours after the special status of the state was scrapped. Suspension of the communication — landline, mobile and internet — network evoked sharp reaction, particularly from the families whose relatives were outside the valley.
It was in the last week of August that landlines were restored to subscribers connected with Barzulla and Sonawar telephone exchanges. Landlines phones of subscribers, including all media organizations, from main BSNL telephone exchange were restored only on September 5.
Journalists working for different local, national and international media organizations too had to taste the ban on communication. Internet service of all media organizations, including newspapers and news agencies, remained suspended since August 5.
The State Information Department (SID) finally opened a “Facilitation Centre” for journalists in Sonawar area of the city from where they file stories to their respective media organizations. However, for any information from far flung and remote areas, journalists are dependent on government briefing only. The centre was later sifted to Directorate of Information, office, at Polo View in Srinagar.