Tight curbs on Internet in J&K offices


The Centre’s decision to abrogate Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5 led to an unannounced shutdown in the valley even as authorities imposed severe restrictions, including on communication, which were later gradually eased out.

Postpaid mobile services on all networks were restored in the Valley on October 14, 72 days after they were snapped.

However, pre-paid mobile phones and all internet services continue to remain suspended since August 5.

The government has set up a ‘Media Facilitation Centre’ at a conference hall of a local hotel here for journalists to discharge their professional duties. But the media persons complain that it has not enough computers and they have to wait for hours for their turn.

The journalists demanded immediate restoration of the services to facilitate the media persons to discharge their professional duties.

“Limited Internet access has been provided to the Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Health Department, Forest Department, Planning Department, the office of the Deputy Commissioners at the district level, hospitals, etc.,” a senior government official told The Hindu on the condition of anonymity.

However, the government has so far denied the service to local newspapers and media houses, including the Kashmir Press Club. A government-run media felicitation centre continues to remain single window for hundreds of journalists to file their daily reports.

A majority of hospitals and universities, including Kashmir University and the Islamic University of Science and Technology, continue to function without Internet. However, a few FM ratio stations have been allowed controlled access.

A police official said the government may restore Internet in phases and with certain restrictions.

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Also read: In a land without Internet: How the communication blackout is forcing young entrepreneurs out of Kashmir Valley

 



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