Kashmir Indepth

4G internet restoration, ‘KINS 27 January report vindicated’

Ishtiyaq Ahmad
Srinagar, Feb 05 (KINS): Nine days after KINS reported that the government will restore 4G Internet services in more districts in the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the Government on Friday evening informed that the high speed mobile data would be restored in entre Jammu and Kashmir, thus vindicating the KINS report.
It may be recalled that the KINS had carried a detailed report in its 27 January news Bulletin that based on a considered and wide-ranging assessment of the prevailing situation, the government will restore 4G Internet services in more districts in the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Highly placed sources had told news agency KINS that the review by top authorities will be carried out and if there is an improvement in the security situation appropriate action will be taken accordingly.
“We are assessing the situation. We may open it (4G) in more districts as and when we deem it appropriate, given the level of peace we have in the province,” a top source in the administration had told KINS.
On Friday evening the government spokesman, Rohit Kansal in a tweet informed that 4g mobile internet services are being restored in JK. “4G mobile internet service being restored in the entire J&K,” Kansal tweeted.
One of the top officials had said that as a measure of precaution, they were not opening 4G services even when they were aware that there is already peace in most of the districts.
Since the ban on 4G, the government was maintaining that these security measures such as the internet ban were necessary to better integrate the region with India, foster greater economic development and stop threats from “anti-national elements”.
Jammu and Kashmir’s Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, recently had  given hints on restoration of high speed 4G internet services in the remaining eighteen districts of the Union Territory (UT) soon.
“I know 4G is working in just two districts of J&K. There is a committee examining the issue. Hopefully, there will be good news soon in the coming days,” he had said while replying to a question at a press conference in winter capital Jammu.
The Private Schools Association of Jammu and Kashmir representing 3,800 institutions, had filed a fresh affidavit seeking the ease of restrictions on the internet. It said that children in J&K were losing academic years because it’s impossible to conduct online classes using video-conferencing tools such as Zoom or WebEx at 2G mobile Internet speed.
Sources had told KINS that the administration is taking action against those who are spreading rumours.
“We have taken action against some people who have scripted wrong stories and rumours. Police have already been tasked to collect details of all such people who are participating in spreading wrong information, “
It is to mention here that the J&K administration restored 4G services in Udhampur and Ganderbal districts on a trial basis on August 16 last year, but had refused to extend high-speed mobile internet beyond these precincts citing inputs from security agencies about “terror modules trying to lure youths into militant organizations.”
The services was restored in Ganderbal and Udhampur districts of the Union Territory and it was for the first time when high speed internet services returned to the region after restrictions were clamped following abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile state into two union territories last year on August 5.
The restoration of 4G services was done on the recommendation of a panel constituted by the Supreme Court of India to review the restrictions vis-à-vis the security situation in the Union Territory.
The decision was in line with Centre’s assurance to the Supreme Court that the 4G ban will be lifted in one district each in Jammu and Kashmir divisions from August 16 last year.(KINS)

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