Jammu and Kashmir BJP president Ravinder Raina on Friday said full internet service will be restored in the state within 10 days.
Raina said the situation in J&K has now turned favorable to re-start full-speed internet across J&K. “We will restore high-speed 4G in the next 10 days. A year ago, there were incidents of militancy, stone-throwing, separatism, and abetment of such things across the border. In the given situation, we snapped high-speed internet after the intelligence reports from all security agencies,” he said.
He said on Thursday he had a long chat with Union home minister Amit Shah and discussed the issue. “The home minister has assured me that within 10 days the 4G internet will be restored,” he added.
Jammu and Kashmir Principal Secretary, Power and Information, Rohit Kansal on Friday announced that 4G mobile internet services will be restored in the entire Union Territory.
4G mobile internet services being restored in entire J&K @diprjk— Rohit Kansal (@kansalrohit69) February 5, 2021
Earlier, the issue was raised in Parliament by the leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad. On Wednesday, Azad said local people across the three regions --- Kashmir, Jammu, and Ladakh --- were not happy and called for the restoration of the statehood to J&K. He also called for early Assembly elections.
Speaking in the Rajya Sabha while taking part in the debate over the motion of thanks to the President’s speech to the joint sitting of both the Houses of Parliament, Azad said for education, the internet connection is often cut off, and even when available, it is 2G. “In the age of 4G connectivity, how can we do anything with 2G? This is affecting the education of students, especially during this pandemic,” Azad said.
On August 4, 2019, a day before the BJP government revoked Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories, the government imposed a communication blockade. Gradually, the government restored communication in January but internet service was confined to 2G low-speed connectivity. Even 2G was snapped in the different districts due to “law-and-order” issues. During the DDC elections, the government also suspended 2G internet in the poll-bound areas, particularly in South Kashmir.
Last year, the Jammu and Kashmir government invoked the “very peculiar geopolitical position of Jammu & Kashmir and its geographical proximity with Pakistan” in the Supreme Court as one of the arguments not to restore high-speed internet in Jammu and Kashmir. The government also quoted a professor of law and public policy, Pepperdine University, Gregory S. McNeal that “terrorist organizations have also begun to employ websites as a form of information warfare” in its defense. It had also said the right to access the internet is not a fundamental right. In the fresh orders, however, this example is missing.