Ground Report | Srinagar
The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Wednesday ordered the continuance of 2G mobile data services in the Union Territory till April 27.
The decision to continue with the restriction on high speed mobile data services comes at a time when people are seeking restoration of 4G internet in view of the Coronavirus outbreak.
According to an order issued by Home department this evening, a copy of which lies with Groundreport stated that the 2G mobile data services will continue across Jammu and Kashmir till 27.
However, the government in its order stated that the restrictions imposed on high speed mobile internet services have not posed any hindrance to COVID-19 control measures.
After the outbreak of deadly COVID-19, three petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court (SC), seeking restoration of 4G mobile data services.
The restrictions on mobile internet has been taken in view of reports received from the intelligence and laws enforcement agencies which, among other things, bring out the factum of the attempts made by the antinational elements (ANEs) to spread propaganda and ideologies through transmission of fake news and targeted messages aimed at disturbing the public order and cause disaffection and discontent as also coordinate acts of terrorism, the fresh order said.
It said many instances of misuse of data services for incitement, including circulation of fake news, have been noticed which necessitated even use of teargas to disperse people in such precarious times when owing to COVID- 1 9, orders under section 144 CrPC have been enforced to regulate assembly and movement and there is enhanced public awareness regarding social distancing measures.
There have also been recoveries of major cache of arms and ammunition on one hand and killings of civilians by the terrorists on the other, apart from attempts to encourage terrorism through uploading of provocative videos and material as also infiltration from across the border, it said.
Further, the recent changes in the domicile law in J&K too has the potential to be exploited by those inimical to public peace and tranquillity and cause large scale violence and disturb public order, which has till now been maintained due to various pre-emptive measures, including restriction on access to internet with relaxations in a calibrated and gradual manner, after due consideration of the ground situation.
“The internet speed restrictions have, while enabling access to essential services and sites, not posed any hindrance to COVID-19 control measures or to access online educational content, but checked the unfettered misuse of social media for incitement and propagating and coordinating terror activities,” he added.