2G, Mobile Services in Kashmir Restored Again After Republic Day

Mobile internet services were suspended hours after their restoration on Saturday.

Updated26 Jan 2020, 05:20 PM IST
India
3 min read

Mobile phone services and 2G internet services were restored in Kashmir on Sunday, 26 January, hours after being suspended as a precautionary measure ahead of Republic Day celebration in the Valley, officials said.

"Mobile telephone services were restored at 4:00 pm across Kashmir," news agency PTI quoted officials as saying.

2G mobile internet services was restored around 9 pm, officials said.

Suspension of mobile phone and internet services on Republic Day and Independence Day have been part of the security drill in the Valley since 2005 when militants used a mobile phone to trigger an IED blast near the venue of Independence day celebrations.

On Saturday, hours after low-speed mobile internet was restored in Kashmir, authorities again snapped services, including mobile phone connectivity, citing security reasons in view of Republic Day.

Suspension of mobile phone and internet services on Republic Day and Independence Day have been part of the security drill in the Valley since 2005 when militants used a mobile phone to trigger an IED blast near the venue of Independence day celebrations, PTI reported.

Services Snapped Hours After Restoration

On Saturday, hours after low-speed mobile internet was restored in Kashmir, authorities again snapped services, citing security reasons in view of Republic Day.

The service is likely to be resumed after culmination of Republic Day celebrations on Sunday, officials said.

Mobile internet was restored earlier in the day after being suspended nearly six months ago in the wake of the Centre's decision to revoke Article 370, but the service could only be used to access 301 websites approved by the administration, officials said.

“The mobile internet services were temporarily suspended this evening ahead of the Republic Day functions,” an official said.

He said the services would be resumed again after the culmination of functions across the valley on Sunday.

The officials said the 2G mobile internet services were restored across the Valley this afternoon but only white-listed websites, excluding social media sites, were accessible.

Social media applications will continue to remain out of bounds for the Valley's residents. The sites approved include search engines and those associated with banking, education, news, travel, utilities and employment.

The restoration of the 2G internet facility on mobile phones will continue till 31 January after which it would be reviewed further, the earlier order had said.

Supreme Court Ruling in Orders Imposing Curbs

Earlier, the Supreme Court, in a significant ruling on 10 January had asked the Jammu and Kashmir administration to review within a week all orders imposing curbs in the Union Territory.

The Supreme Court came down heavily on the UT administration for arbitrarily shutting down the internet, the facility described as a fundamental right by the apex court.

Internet and mobile connectivity in the region were restricted from 5 August last year after the Centre announced the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcated the erstwhile state into two union territories: Ladakh, and Jammu and Kashmir.

While most of the services except mobile internet were restored in Jammu within a week, Kashmir witnessed restoration of landlines and postpaid mobile services and internet facilities for essential services like hospitals in phases.

A copy of the government notification put out on Friday:

The government order lifting the internet restrictions.
The government order lifting the internet restrictions.
(Source: @AdityaRajKaul/Twitter)
The government order lifting the internet restrictions.
The government order lifting the internet restrictions.
(Source: @AdityaRajKaul/Twitter)

(With inputs from PTI)

Published: 24 Jan 2020, 06:51 PM IST
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