Internet restrictions pose no obstacle in COVID-19 control measures: Govt
The government has decided against restoring high speed mobile internet in Jammu and Kashmir and stated that internet restrictions don’t pose any hindrance in coronavirus control measures.
"The restrictions have not posed any hindrance to COVID-19 control measures," reads an order issued by Principal Secretary (Home) Shaleen Kabra on extending the 2G internet service in Valley till April 27.
The government stated that restrictions on high speed mobile internet--3G and 4G--have reduced incidents of misuse of social media by way of uploading and circulation of provocative audio, video content, fake news, rumour mongering, coordination of militant activities and other such acts that rely upon high speed mobile connectivity.
The government stated that was no restriction on internet speed on fixed lines connections and it will continue with Mac-binding while the internet speed on all mobile phone networks has been restricted to 2G only which will continue to remain functional till April 27.
According to an order, during the review of the situation the security agencies brought out social media use for circulation of photographs of militants and for mobilizing crowds.
The government mentioned that in one such instance more than 500 villagers gathered to attend funeral of a militant, defying the lock-down and throwing social-distancing norms to the wind.
Moreover, it said that Pakistan-based militant outfits were exploiting the current situation as seen by recent infiltration attempts, which also caused security forces' causalities.
"There have also been many instances of civilian killings by militants, attacks on forces, recoveries of arms, ammunition, attempt to propagate militancy through uploading of videos, coordinating infiltration from across the border, launch of new militant outfits, etc., during this period," the order stated.
On January 25 the administration restored 2G internet services after suspending the services on August 5, last year following scrapping of Article 370 and bifurcation of J&K state by Government of India.
The internet services was suspended across J&K to prevent any backlash against scrapping of Article 370.
The internet connectivity was restored in phases and users were directed to access the internet with MAC-binding while the authorities asked subscribers to ensure the services are not misused in any manner.