J&K Govt extends ban on high-speed mobile Internet till June 17

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Jammu and Kashmir Government on Wednesday extended ban on 4G internet in Jammu and Kashmir till June 17, claiming that the reports received by it suggest spurt in infiltration by militants during the coming weeks.  

“The reports suggest rise in the infiltration of (militant) during the coming weeks due to the onset of summer and melting of snow, which gets facilitated through use of Voice on Internet Protocol (VOIP) and encrypted mobile communication, being used by the operatives/anti-national elements to communicate with their handlers from across the border,” Shaleen Kabra, Principal Secretary Home Department said and ordered the continuation of ban on high-speed internet till June 17.  

He said that the order has been passed by him on consideration of the overall security scenario and the reports of the law enforcement agencies inter-alia bringing out the necessity of speed-related restrictions on mobile data services to prevent misuse of the internet.

“I, Principal Secretary to the Government, Home Department, being satisfied that, it is absolutely necessary to do so in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the Security of the State and for maintaining public order, hereby order that the directions/restrictions shall continue to remain in force till 17th June, 2020, unless modified earlier,” he said in the order, a copy of which lies with GNS.

“The (IGsP), Kashmir/Jammu shall ensure communication of these directions to the service providers with immediate effect and ensure their implementation in letter and spirit,” he added.   

He said from May 12 till date, the mobile internet services and even mobile cellular services (voice and SMS) had to be suspended, although for limited periods of time and in specific areas, in view of a number of encounters and militant incidents including Nawakadal, a highly populated residential area of downtown Srinagar, where restrictions had to be imposed for three days due to likelihood of “misuse of the data services by the anti-national elements for mobilizing the crowds and creating law and order situation.”

“There have also been multiple instances of (militant) acts including attacks on security forces -leading to even death of the SF personnel, and attempts to encourage (militancy) through uploading and circulation of provocative videos and false propaganda -largely relying on internet connectivity, to disturb the public order,” he added.