High-speed internet ban hampering journalism in Kashmir

The government has stuck to its decision of banning high-speed Internet in Jammu and Kashmir despite appeals for its restoration
High-speed internet ban hampering journalism in Kashmir
Pic: Habib Naqash/GK

At the day break photojournalists in Kashmir pack their bagswith cameras and equipment to film the stories of coronavirus outbreak.

With hardly any protective gear but with a never say noattitude these brave journalists are always on the move. They are going tohospitals and vulnerable places to bring the stories of hope and despair in thetimes of this enormous crisis.

The government has banned high speed internet in Kashmirshut again after a prolonged lockdown following the abrogation of Article 370on August 5 last year making the job of journalists even more difficult.

"We want that a similar lockdown is enforced in Kashmiras it is in the rest of the country, but we want that high speed Internetshould be restored," Firdous Ilahai, a Srinagar based journalist. "Wealso want to work from home, but can't do that, we want to save our familiesand not to venture out, but we have no option."

A media centre was established for journalists in Kashmirafter the lockdown and an Internet blackout following the abrogation of Article370. Few computer terminals were installed to cater to the heavy rush ofjournalists.

But with the threat of coronavirus looming large and intimes of social distancing that option may just not help.

"We are always working in tough conditions, whether weare cover protests, stone pelting and corona virus threat, we are appealing tothe government to restore high-speed internet to allow us to operate from ourhomes," said Showkat Ahmad, a photo journalist.

The government has stuck to its decision of banninghigh-speed Internet in Jammu and Kashmir despite appeals for its restoration inthe wake of corona virus threat, this has really hampered journalism andimpacted all aspects of life. It is hoped that the what is the ban on highspeed Internet is lifted so that problems of people also come to an end.

Greater Kashmir
www.greaterkashmir.com