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Internet block in Jammu & Kashmir : A resident’s perspective

internet block in j and k

The Jammu and Kashmir Administration has expanded the restriction on fast web in the Union Territory till July 29 “in light of a legitimate concern for sway and honesty of India.”

The portable web in Jammu and Kashmir is accessible at low 2G speed

The organization said security offices have been effective in dispensing with an enormous number of aggressors while guaranteeing open request is kept up. The organization contended that the information administrations have not been permitted to be abused by the counter social components and over ground laborers (OGWs).

The request given by the Principal Secretary to Home Shaleen Kabra asserted the limitations haven’t antagonistically affected the endeavors of the administration towards Covid-19 control, training and business exercises. “Presently, in this, endless supply of the reports of the field offices bringing out in unambiguous terms the need for continuation of the limitations on access to internet providers,” there quest peruses. It says it is important to limit the web in light of a legitimate concern for power and trustworthiness of India, “security of the state” and for keeping up open requests.

The request is a progression of requests given by the legislature since January 25, when the administration continued low speed web in J&K after complete correspondence barricade since August 5, 2019. On August 5, 2019, the administration repudiated Article 370, Article 35A in the midst of correspondence bar, attack and capture of more than 8000 individuals including three previous boss clergymen.

The netizens from Jammu have been requesting rebuilding of a rapid (4G) versatile web.

“11 Months and 2 days and tallying Our flaws? We have taken an interest in vote based procedure calmly. We have bolstered ur’s everything gathering might do since 2014. We remained with you on Article 370 and 35A. We gave you the order you didn’t merit. What did we get ? 2G ,” tweeted one client Rahul Puri attacking BJP.

On May 11, the Supreme Court had coordinated for the constitution of a “Unique Committee”, headed by the Secretary of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, to look at the issues that had been brought by the applicants up in a supplication which looked for reclamation of 4G speed internet providers in Jammu and Kashmir.

Internet services fall under the department of telecommunications, Ministry of telecommunications.This department plays a vital role in the socioeconomic development of a nation. According to the government officials, people who are linked with this department have been working tirelessly to achieve massive growth in providing quality internet and communication services to the common people of the nation. Also, there is a dedicated digital communication commission which is rigorously responsible for formulating policies, preparing the budget, and ultimately implementing all the beneficial schemes. Having said that, there is a part of India which is devoid of the access to internet services. That part is the recently formed union territory of India – Jammu and Kashmir. In order to understand why internet services were curbed in Jammu and Kashmir, we first need to understand how the complete internet shutdown was executed.

The Government has said several times that the sole purpose of shutting down the internet in the valley is to maintain Equality and harmony. On the other hand, the government to execute their plan took extreme steps. Firstly, they evacuated the non-residents of the valley. Secondly, what they did was complete internet and state shutdown as curfew-like restrictions were imposed on the movement of people under section 144. Thirdly, they house arrested all the key political Kashmiri leaders.Furthermore, troops of Indian Armed forces were deployed. They tried to shut down many voices by this act. In an interview at Niti (National Institute Of Transforming India ) Ayog stated that the social media acts as a catalyst to the fire of protests. And also another reason he stated was that the youth indulges in watching ‘adult films’. Later, the noted member apologised for that particular remark only.Hence, they don’t want people to protest or go against them. From a common man to a leader everyone was restricted. It clearly depicts failure of the Indian governance .

When the order for the shutdown was passed, the government had stated several identical and vague reasons. The administration justifies this act by citing “security reasons” or “precautionary measures” behind the shutdown. ‘Internet Necessity, But National Security Paramount’, Says the Minister of Home Affairs. According to them the internet aids in spreading rumours and wrong information. And also helps people in getting involved in acts of terrorism. Coupled with cyber crime data reports and the terrorist attacks that have not been stopped even after curbing the internet services tell a different story. IT apps and cyber laws can be used to tackle the certain groups of people who are involved in any kind of cyber crimes. To put it another way, why should innocent people suffer on the behalf of those who allegedly commit such crimes. Other parts of the country have also reported cyber crimes but this extreme step was not taken by the government in that case.

Not to mention that our Hon’ble Prime Minister has been very much active on all the social media providing live updates about the new policies and insights about the actions taken by the administration. However, the people of Jammu and Kashmir remain unaware about what their Prime minister wants to convey to them. Sadly, the youth can’t read tweets or get to know about any updates through any digital platform as the connectivity of the internet is poor.We can witness a large section of people getting deprived of all the facilities provided by the government. As the people can’t share their inputs or opinions on the policies as ground level media reporting has also stopped. When there is no internet connectivity, how can reporters cover the news and people’s take on the newly formed rules and schemes. The government had also promised to provide employment to the youth of Kashmir. Provided that we bear in our mind that all the forms of competitive exams and scholarships are to be filled digitally.

The government has been coming up with very innovative ideas in the health sector too. As people no longer have to stand in queues to get an appointment with a doctor. e-Hospital application provides important services such as online registration, payment of fees and appointment, online diagnostic reports, enquiring availability of blood online. With this in mind,people can’t access this service too as it will be too late for the person suffering from any health issue, because the internet speed won’t let him/her open the webpage only.

Also, there is another very important thing which people couldn’t access. Banks play an important role in the financial system and the economy. As a key component of the financial system, banks allocate funds from savers to borrowers in an efficient manner. These financial services help to make the overall economy more efficient. But people couldn’t access net banking. As the site would take a few days to open up.

Diving into the current scenario, the Corona outbreak has affected the whole nation. To avoid spreading of the novel corona viruses. The prime minister had advised us to stay indoors.Also, when lockdown was announced all the educational institutions were shut. And the teachers started teaching children on digital platforms. Children were insisted to attend online classes and also various exams were held online. People of jammu and Kashmir couldn’t attend online lectures as there was 2g speed internet connection. Also, many commercial businesses had to suffer huge losses. They were compelled to suffer.

On the other side the Prime minister while addressing the nation said that we all must be’vocal about the local’. People couldn’t earn their bread as all the companies had come up with work from home policy. Coronavirus guidelines were also surfing on the internet which could not reach a large number of people. Not only this decision of the government has violated Article 14 of the Constitution of India reads as under: “The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.”Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India guarantees to all its citizens the right to freedom of speech and expression. And the Supreme Court held that Right to Privacy is a fundamental right under Article 21. All these laws have been violated by this decision of the government as these laws are interlinked. Besides, laws and other things. Working class people, students, teachers, reporters, leaders, and all the other common people have suffered a lot due to the unavailability of the internet services.

 

 

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Written by Ojasvi Taak

His name is Ojasvi Taak, currently pursuing law in his final year of the B.A.LL.B (H) integrated course. He wants to write and is inclined towards journalism and studies law to gain an insight of what makes the world, the way it is.

 

He is a product of multilingual north indian cultures and believes in not restricting oneself in one colour. An avid reader of indian history and philosophy, always tries to make sense of what was and what is. He thinks he can create art in the form of sketches and painting. He is always open to expand his horizons and is also a lover of travel. He wants to use his voice to make people aware about their rights.

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