Internet Ban to Continue in Indian Occupied Kashmir

Recently, the BJP government in IOK extended its ban on high-speed internet in 20 districts of the region till November 12. In an order issued on Wednesday evening, the government told that the ban on high-speed internet was “felt absolutely necessary in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India.”

Internet Ban to Continue in Indian Occupied Kashmir

The order further said,

Security agencies apprehended that anti-national elements might misuse high-speed connections for carrying out activities inimical to the public order besides persuading the youths to join militancy.

High-speed internet had been restricted since August 2019 when India abolished the semi-autonomous status of the disputed region, split it into two federally ruled territories, and imposed a total lockdown and communications blackout.

When the Supreme Court took the matter in hand, the Indian government only restored mobile data services in January beginning Hindu-dominated Jammu and afterwards in Muslim-majority regions of Kashmir.

However, only government-authorised “whitelisted” sites were accessible. In addition to that, restrictions on social media to remain in force until March 4.

High-speed internet was restored on August 17 in two of the districts, first is the Ganderbal district in the Muslim-majority region of Kashmir and Udhampur district in the Hindu-majority Jammu on a “trial basis” after a committee established on the order of the supreme court recommended “calibrated easing of internet restrictions in comparatively less sensitive geographical areas”.

A number of human rights groups which include Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have repeatedly asked India to restore full high-speed internet access in the disputed region, with the calls gaining more prominence amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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