'Not restoring internet services as terrorists might misuse it'

Updated: Jan 16, 2020, 09:04 IST | Agencies | Srinagar

Police bring to notice material relating to the terror modules operating in the union territory

Three Malaysian tourists get emotional while accessing the Internet for the first time after reaching the Valley, at a government facilitation centre in Srinagar, on Wednesday. Pic/PTI
Three Malaysian tourists get emotional while accessing the Internet for the first time after reaching the Valley, at a government facilitation centre in Srinagar, on Wednesday. Pic/PTI

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) administration has cited possible misuse of the internet by anti-national elements and terrorists as a reason for not restoring these services for the general public and media in the Kashmir Valley.

Complying with the Supreme Court's directions issued on January 10, the union territory's administration on Tuesday evening ordered restoration of 2G mobile internet services on postpaid connections in five districts of Jammu division and broadband facilities in both Jammu and Kashmir divisions only for institutions dealing with essential services and tourism, such as hospitals, banks and hotels.

The order, issued by principal secretary, Home, Shaleen Kabra late on Tuesday, however, did not restore mobile internet services for Kashmir division. It said misuse of data services by anti-national elements has the potential to cause large-scale violence and disturb public order "which has till now been maintained due to various pre-emptive measures, including restrictions on access to internet with relaxations in a calibrated and gradual manner, after due consideration of the ground situation".

Kabra said the police authorities have brought to notice material relating to the terror modules operating in the union territory, including handlers from across the border, and activities of separatists and anti-national elements within, who are attempting to aid and incite people by transmission of fake news and targeted messages through use of internet to propagate terrorism, indulge in rumour-mongering, support fallacious proxy wars, spread propaganda and cause disaffection and discontent.

Tourists emotional on accessing internet at government centre

Emotional scenes were witnessed at the government-run media centre in the city on Wednesday as a group of Malaysian tourists, currently on a visit to Kashmir, accessed the Internet for the first time since reaching here, due to the continued blockade of the services in the Valley. Three tourists from Malaysia, out of a group of eight, dropped by at the centre, housed at the Government's Information Department Complex, to seek permission for accessing the Internet.

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