Broadband, 2G internet partially restored in Jammu and Kashmir

Joanna Estrada
January 15, 2020

There will be a total ban on social media, though.

The decision to gradually reintroduce broadband internet to the disputed Himalayan region, after the longest shutdown ever imposed in a democracy, followed a supreme court ruling last week that the indefinite suspension was illegal and amounted to an abuse of power.

India has begun partially lifting its internet blockade in the region of Kashmir it administers, following a court order to review the restrictions.

"Internet service providers will offer broadband facility (with Mac binding) to all institutions dealing with essential services, hospitals, banks as also government offices", the order said.

Kashmir Valley has been without internet since August - part of a number of restrictions imposed by the government as "precautionary measures" against backlash after it ended the state's special status granted by Article 370 of the constitution and bifurcated it into two union territories.

The SC verdict had come on Friday on a batch of pleas challenging the curbs imposed in Jammu and Kashmir after the Centre's abrogation of provisions of Article 370 on August 5 previous year.

Restrictions were imposed in Jammu and Kashmir after the Centre's abrogation of provisions of Article 370 on August 5 past year.

The lockdown is still in place but some curbs have been lifted.

J&K government order on "temporary suspension of telecom services", January 14, 2020. The Ladakh administration had restored 4G mobile internet connectivity in Kargil on December 27, after a gap of 145 days.

Last month, Bharatiya Janata Party General Secretary Ram Madhav said internet connectivity might be restored in the Kashmir Valley based on the assessment of security.

"Things are being finalised and an announcement will be made soon".

Tuesday's administrative order also asks service providers (ISPs) to give broadband internet service to those institutions dealing with essential services, while stating that the government would open 400 more internet kiosks in Kashmir.

The order said that the Institutions and Government offices that will be provided Internet access shall be "responsible to prevent any misuse, for which they shall take all the necessary precautions, including appointment of nodal officers, keeping a record of persons/devices, managing and monitoring day to day usage, changing accessibility credentials on a daily basis and ensure internet availability to only authorized users, etc".

It said the 2G mobile connectivity on post-paid mobiles for accessing white-listed websites including e-banking will be allowed in districts of Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Udhampur and Reasi - all in the Jammu region.

The order said that the police has brought material relating to the terror modules operating in Jammu and Kashmir including handlers from across the border who are attempting to aid and incite people by transmission of fake news and targeted messages through use of Internet.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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