Barely a day after the Jammu and Kashmir government lifted its month-long social media ban in the Valley, social media has been banned again.
This comes hours after Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Sabzar Ahmad Bhat, and another terrorist were gunned down in Kashmir on Saturday morning. Bhat, who replaced Burhan Wani after his death July 2016, is reported to have been the brains behind using social media as a weapon.
The Jammu and Kashmir home department had lifted its month-long ban after imposing it on 26 April, on Friday evening around 8:30 pm.
In an attempt to curb street protests in the Valley, the state government had ordered the suspension of internet use. Twenty-two sites and applications were banned including Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter.
A month ago, the home department had directed all ISPs to disallow use of social media.
“Any message or class of messages to or from any persons or class of persons relating to any subject or any pictorial content through the following social networking sites shall not be transmitted in the Kashmir valley for a period of one month or till further orders,” the order read as reported by India Today.
As per the government directive, social networking sites suspended included Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, QQ, WeChat, Ozone, Tmblr, Google+, Baidu, Skype, Viber, Line, Snapchat, Pinterest, Telegram, Reditt, Snapfish, Flickr, Xanga, Vine, Snapfish and Youtube (Upload), India Today reported.
The ban, however, had little impact as users continued to access banned sites through virtual private networks (VPNs).