In 15 days, people in Shopian avail internet services for 4 hours
The mobile internet services continue to remain shut in south Kashmir’s Shopian district for 15th consecutive day after multiple encounters and killings of several top rebel commanders in separate gunfights in the district.
The barring of internet services has caused inconvenience to students and the business community mostly.
On 30th April, an encounter broke out in Drabgam area of Shopian district, in which top militant commander; Sameer Tiger was killed along with his associate, Aqib Khan. The authorities instantly snapped the internet services as the gunfight raged and it was then restored on 3rd May in the afternoon. Barely hours after the restoration of the internet that day, another encounter started in Turkawangam area of Shopian district, which claimed the life of a teenage boy, Umar Kumar while the militants managed to escape from the spot. The first causality of the firefight however was the internet, which has not been restored till date. Couple of days later, another bloody encounter raged in the same district, this time at Badigam village. On 6th May, in which six civilians and five militants were killed at the hands of forces, since then, even the broadband internet services were shut, which were restored on this Monday.
“I had to download my roll number slip for SSB examination for which I went to other district headquarters. Several other students, who are supposed to submit their examination or other admission forms, are also compelled to travel to long distances for getting their work done. The situation has even returned to normal since a week now but still the authorities are not lifting the e-curfew,” said a local. ‘Shutting down of cellular internet services is another tool of oppression in Kashmir.”
The business community also has been suffering in the absence of internet services.
“It seems that the authorities have forgotten to restore the internet here. I used to do most of my transaction via mobile banking but now I have to rush to the nearby branch every now and then”, said a businessman, Rayees Ahmed.
SSP Shopian, Shailendar Mishra said, that he is not authorized to decide when to shut or restore the internet services.
A top police official while acknowledging the inconvenience caused to the public said that they are monitoring the situation and will restore the mobile internet soon, without giving a particular date.