Saturday, 3 June 2017

Internet shutdown in Kashmir-No one knows who ordered it

Internet Shutdown

Countering insurgency in Kashmir:Internet become a terror weapon

 The order banning mobile internet service in 2016 was not issued by the home department or divisional commissioner’s office.
For about four months last year, Kashmir reeled under a mobile internet ban clamped to tamp down on rumors and controversial videos that fanned a snowballing unrest in the Valley.

Prepaid mobile phones, a select batch of landline numbers and even fixed-line broadband services were occasionally snapped as authorities struggled to contain clashes that left nearly 100 dead and thousands injured. The internet ban triggered widespread condemnation and criticism that the government was infringing fundamental rights.

But who ordered the clampdown? Two arms of the state government responsible for law and order – the home department and the divisional commissioner’s office -- deny ordering any shutdown of phone and internet services on July 9 last year. 

An RTI query by Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) revealed that the internet ban in Kashmir was not ordered by official authorities.

The state government usually takes decisions on withdrawing internet services as part of its mandate to maintain law and order. “The information given in the RTI will be checked,” a Union home ministry spokesperson said.

Divisional commissioner's office replied saying that "no such order was issued by this office regarding shut down of phones, the internet, mobile phones, mobile internet".


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