Hours after the Supreme Court issued notices to the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir government, over the restoration of 4G internet in the valley, J&K police on Thursday registered an FIR against people for circulating a fake order on social media, which claimed that the Apex Court has ordered restoration of 4G internet services within 24 hours.
Advocate General for J&K administration, DC Raina, told Outlook that the Supreme Court had only issued a notice to the administration, not an order. The Top Court had asked the authorities to respond to a plea seeking directions to restore 4G internet in J&K in view of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic. The administration was asked to reply within a week.
For past few weeks, several fake orders had come up on social media, claiming that government had restored 4G internet services in the valley. The government immediately denied such orders.
Soon after the SC notice on Thursday, an order was seen on social media that the government has been asked to restore internet within 24 hours. Panicked, the police swung into action. The Cyber Police Station, Kashmir Zone, in a statement said that it has taken cognizance of “circulation of fake and fabricated record of proceedings purported to be of Supreme Court of India and registered an FIR.”
“Cyber Police Station has received information through reliable sources that some miscreants with criminal intention have fabricated and circulated a document purporting it to be a record of proceedings of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, in which it has been falsely reflected that J&K Union Territory administration has been ordered to take a quick review within 24 hours and restore full internet communication in the region.”
“The said document is fake and forged from its appearance and as otherwise ascertained. This fraudulent and dishonest action has been undertaken by unknown miscreants in order to mislead public in general and public authorities in particular,” the statement read.
“General Public is advised not to circulate unauthentic, fabricated or fake information through social media platforms. Any person found indulging in such activities will be dealt strictly under law,” the police have warned.
The petition was filed by Foundation for Media Professionals. On August 5, 2019, when Article 370 of the constitution was abrogated, the government imposed communication blockade in J&K. Since then, the government has gradually restored other communication services but it continues with the restrictions on high-speed internet. On March 26, J&K administration issued an order that restricted the internet speed to 2G.