2G mobile internet services restored in Kashmir
Prepaid mobile phone services were restored on Friday, but mobile internet connectivity remained suspended till May 11, or the 17th day of the holy month of Ramzan, due to apprehensions about possible militant attacks.Updated: May 12, 2020 18:34 IST
The Jammu and Kashmir administration restored 2G internet connectivity across the Union Territory on Tuesday, six days after the service was snapped during an operation by security forces that resulted in the killing of militant commander Riyaz Naikoo.
Last week, internet connectivity and prepaid mobile phone services across Kashmir were snapped during a gun battle in which Naikoo, the operations commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen, and his aide were killed at Beighpora Gulzarpora village in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
Prepaid mobile phone services were restored on Friday, but mobile internet connectivity remained suspended till May 11, or the 17th day of the holy month of Ramzan, due to apprehensions about possible militant attacks.
Principal secretary (home) Shaleen Kabra issued an order for restoring mobile internet services across Kashmir.
On Monday, the Supreme Court had refused to order the restoration of 4G services on mobile devices in Jammu and Kashmir, but issued directions for forming a special committee to address issues raised by petitioners who had challenged the snapping of internet connectivity in the region.
All internet services were snapped in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir on August 4 last year, hours before the Centre announced its decision to bifurcate the state into the union territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.
Since then, whenever there is a major attack by militants or a gun battle in any part of Kashmir, the government snaps mobile internet services as officials fear these developments could trigger fresh protests. For many people, the frequent disruption of internet connectivity has become a headache.
“It’s now a big problem. First, we were barred from using high speed internet and now even 2G is being snapped frequently,” said a local resident who declined to be named.
Officials were anticipating attacks on security forces across Kashmir on the 17th day of Ramzan, or the day of Badr, when a few hundred Muslims led by Prophet Mohammed took on their powerful opponents in Arabia and won. There was speculation about an attack as militants have targeted security forces in the Kashmir Valley on this day in the past. Last year, there were similar reports about possible attacks on the 17th day of Ramzan.
However, authorities decided last week to restore 2G internet connectivity after the 17th of Ramzan passed off peacefully. As there were no incidents on the day, officials restored mobile internet services with slow speed on Tuesday morning.