On Sunday, the central government told Parliament that restricted internet (2G) in J&K is in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India services especially critical services in between the coronavirus pandemic.
“The internet services are already available in Kashmir on fixed line and that too without any speed restrictions as well as 2G speed mobile data services are also operational since 24th January 2020. Restrictions on accessing social media sites have also been lifted from March onwards,” Minister of State for Home GK Reddy informed Lok Sabha in a written reply.
“The 2G mobile internet speed is not an impediment in Covid control measures including dissemination of information to general public as well as health workers. E-learning apps and education and e-learning websites of the government are accessible over 2G internet for downloading e-books and other study material,” he said.
Further adding he said that 4G high-speed mobile data services have been started in Ganderbal and Udhampur districts of the state. Last year, the government imposed a crippling communication barrier in the state as it revoked J&K’s special status thus dividing it into two union territories.
The administration says that mobile internet services remain restricted in most of J&K to very slow speeds in order to stop the misinformation spreading and stopping terrorists from abusing the networks. According to critics, due to crippled internet service in the state cost hundreds of thousands of jobs and crores in losses to the economy, critics say.
The Home Minister also said that now no leader is under house arrest but still 223 persons are kept under preventive detention.
“At present there are no restrictions on movement but for security advisories to maintain the law and order situation and no person is under house arrest in JK for reasons not related to public health guidelines,” Me Reddy said.
As per the government presently there is no restriction on any individual’s movement including protectees of the Peoples Democratic Party or PDP.