Govt Puts Speculations On 4G Restoration in J&K To Rest

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Ban To Continue Till Aug 19 Over Threats Of ‘Anti-National Activities’

Srinagar: Putting all speculations about restoration of high-speed internet in Jammu and Kashmir to rest, the government on Wednesday extended ban on 4G internet services in the Union Territory till August 19 citing threats of anti-national activities during August-15 celebrations and marking first anniversary of special status revocation of the erstwhile state.

In an order issued by the principal Secretary Home, the government said that restrictions on access to internet through mobile data services have been “necessitated” in view of its “misuse in planning and executing (militant) acts including attacks on Security Forces, political workers and innocent civilians, propagation of ideologies inimical to the interests of the country, misguiding the youth to join (militant) ranks, communicating and coordinating with handlers across the border to facilitate infiltration.”

“There are inputs suggesting rise in the anti-national activities over the coming weeks, more so in view of completion of an year since implementation of the constitutional changes viz-a-viz J&K, Independence day celebrations, etc,” reads the order.

Subsequently, the Principal Secretary said that it was “absolutely necessary in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the Security of the State and for maintaining public order,” the internet access across J&K shall be made available with 2G only.“The directions shall remain in force upto 19 August, 2020, unless modified earlier. The IsGP, Kashmir/Jammu shall ensure communication of these directions to the service providers and ensure implementation of these directions forthwith,” the order added.

Pertinently, communication links, including high-speed internet was snapped on August 5 last year, hours before Modi-led government announced scrapping of Article-370 and Article 35 A and splitting Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories.

Last week, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had informed the Supreme Court that the special committee constituted to look into the issue of restoring 4G internet in J&K had decided against resuming the services.

“Based on a considered and wide-ranging assessment of the prevailing situation in this sensitive region, the committee arrived at a decision that no further relaxation of restrictions on internet services, including 4G services, could be carried out at present,” the MHA had said.

The home ministry had also said situation in the union territory will be reviewed by other competent authorities for the next two months. (With GNS inputs)

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