February 2021 News

High-speed mobile internet services being restored in J&K, says govt spokesperson

5 February 2021

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Friday announced restoration of high-speed mobile internet services in the entire union territory, 18 months after they were snapped in the erstwhile state following the Centre's abrogation of its special Constitutional status. The announcement about restoration of high-speed mobile internet came from Jammu and Kashmir administration spokesperson and Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal who said on twitter '4G mobile internet services being restored in entire JK'. The restrictions on mobile internet services across the union territory, except in Ganderbal and Udhampur districts, were in place till February 6. Officials said a notification about the issue would be released soon by the JK Home department. The internet was completely shut in the erstwhile state on August 5, 2019 when the government announced abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution and also its bifurcation into two union territories - Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. Later, 2G services were restored on January 25 last year and 4G services on mobile devices in Ganderbal in Kashmir division and Udhampur in Jammu region were re-started in August last year. This was done after the Centre had informed the Supreme Court that a special committee looking into the matter was considering allowing the facility on a trial basis in two of the 20 districts of the union territory. The high-speed internet was restricted to only post-paid subscribers while pre-paid customers could enjoy the benefit of the services only after completing the verification process. The 2G internet facility on mobile phones was restored on January 25. The apex court is also hearing a plea by an NGO seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against the Union Home Secretary and the Chief Secretary of JK for their alleged 'wilful disobedience' in complying with the court's May 11 order which had directed for constituting a committee that would go into the possibilities of restoring high-speed internet in the union territory. While extending the last ban on mobile internet on January 21, the home department had said that restrictions have been placed 'in view of well founded apprehensions about the dissemination of inflammatory and seditious propaganda material'. Enforcement Directorate summons to former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) chairperson Farooq Abdullah on Friday said 'political vendetta' would not help in improving the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The Centre should 'put an end to this kind of vendetta' and allow democratic processes.