On 14 January, the Jammu and Kashmir government declared the restoration of 2G mobile connectivity in five districts of the Jammu region. Further, broadband facilities will be restored to ‘all the institutions dealing with essential services’ as well as hospitals, banks, and hotels among others.
As per sources, the said order will be effective from January 15 and will remain in force for 7 days, until it is further modified. However, even after the restoration of internet services, the J&K home department in its order had put a complete restriction on social media applications that may facilitate peer to peer communication.
‘To amplify, there shall be a complete restriction on social media applications allowing peer to peer communication and virtual private network applications for the time being,’ stated the order.
The order was issued by Principal Secretary, Home Department, Shaleen Kabra, five days after the Supreme Court’s order vide dated 10 January, which directed the J&K authorities to restore the internet for all the essential services in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Internet was suspended in Kashmir Valley since August 2019, after the passage of two Bills by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah, one to revoke the special status of J&K which was granted under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and the second to bifurcate the State into Union Territories. On 5 August 2019, after the Centre had revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional status, the government imposed a curfew, detained political leaders, and banned all the communication services in the state.
‘Before giving such a facility, the Internet Service Providers shall install necessary firewalls and carry out ‘white-listing’ of sites that would enable access to Government websites, websites dealing with essential services, e-banking, etc. excluding, however, all the social media sites’ stated the three-page order.
It further stated that the institutions and government offices that will be provided Internet access shall be held responsible to prevent any misuse, for which they shall take all the necessary precautions, including the appointment of nodal officers, keeping a record of persons/devices, managing and monitoring day to day usage, changing accessibility credentials daily and ensure internet availability to only authorized users, etc.
Previously, the Ladakh administration restored 4G mobile internet connectivity in Kargil on 27 December. Further, post-paid mobile services were restored across all networks in the Kashmir Valley on 14 October 2019.
The order issued by Principal Secretary, Home Department of J&K declared the restoration of 2G mobile connectivity in five districts of the Jammu region and broadband facilities to all the institutions dealing with essential services. pic.twitter.com/dTGHpj89SX
— B&B Associates LLP (@BandBAssociates) January 15, 2020