India extends restrictions on high speed internet in Jammu and Kashmir News
India extends restrictions on high speed internet in Jammu and Kashmir

The government in the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir issued an order Friday extending the suspension of high-speed 4G internet services until January 8 across the union territory excluding the districts of Ganderbal and Udhampur, citing post-election unrest and border infiltration.

The government said it received credible reports concerning terrorists attempting to infiltrate from across the border. The order seeks to place a restriction on 4G internet services to deter mobilization of the youth to join terrorist forces and uploading, downloading or circulating provocative videos on social media, spreading rumors and fake news.

The government also recently concluded panchayat (village council) elections and recorded large-scale voter turnout along with successful participation by political parties across the spectrum. The order notes that the success of the elections did not go down well with the “elements inimical to public peace and tranquility, as apparent from the multiple incidents of hurling of grenades by the terrorists since the conclusion of the election process” at civilians, police personnel and security forces.

The restrictions have been placed by the principal secretary to the government under the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017.

Internet services were completely cut off in Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019, hours before the central government revoked Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and split the state into union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. While 2G internet services were restored in January, restrictions on 4G services have been in place regularly since.

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