Srinagar, Oct 21: The government on Wednesday extended ban on high speed 3G and 4G internet services in all but two districts of Jammu and Kashmir till November 12.
As per an order issued by Principal Secretary Home Department, the restrictions in high speed have been felt “absolutely necessary in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India.”
“The Special Committee constituted by the Supreme Court held its meeting to consider the continuation or otherwise of the directions regarding regulation of the Internet Services in the context of the views expressed by security agencies and administration of J&K, especially related to the security aspects, the border security and the concerns on account of public order,” the order, a copy reads, adding, “The Committee noted that the internet speed related restrictions are not posing hindrance to COVID Control measures, access to educational programmes and carrying out of business activities.”
The matter, the Principal Secretary said, has been further considered in the meetings of the State Level Committee, in light of the observations of the Special Committee and assessment about the impact of the trial of opening up of high speed internet connectivity.
“Various measures taken by the Government, especially during the recent past, to empower people have not gone down well with the separatist and (militant) organizations, aided and abetted from across the border. There have been multiple instances of attacks on the security forces, political workers, etc. to subvert these initiatives and the political process which has been set in motion.”
The Principal Secretary said that there are apprehensions regarding misuse of the data services by the “anti national elements, among other acts, for carrying out various activities inimical to the public order apart from misleading the youth to join (militant) ranks, which necessitates taking of pre-emptive measures, including imposition of restrictions on availability of internet commensurate to the gravity of the situation.”
Subsequently, the government ordered that the high speed mobile data services in the districts of Ganderbal and Udhampur shall continue to be made available while in rest of the districts, the speed be restricted to 2G only.
The Principal Secretary said that restrictions shall remain in force till November12 or unless modified earlier. The IsGP, Kashmir and Jammu have been asked to ensure communication of these directions to the service providers forthwith and their implementation in “letter and spirit.”