4G: Govt extends ban on high-speed internet till September 30

The Jammu and Kashmir government on Tuesday decided to continue high-speed internet services in Udhampur and Ganderbal districts till September 30 while extending 4G internet ban in all 18 other districts of the Union Territory.

According to an order issued by Principal Secretary, J&K home department, Shaleen Kabra, the directions were reviewed by the review committee on August 21 and September 1.

“The committee, while taking note of the assessment made by the law enforcement agencies that no reports of misuse of high speed internet services in the districts of Ganderbal and Udhampur had been reported, observed that the situation needed to be monitored closely,” the order said.

He, however, observed, “The law enforcement agencies have furnished credible inputs that the terror modules operating in various parts of J&K, with active support from across the border as well as separatists/anti-national elements from within, are making sustained efforts to provoke sentiments of the gullible youth and lure them into terrorist organisations to fill the vacuum created by the killing of many terrorists.”

“Also, the agencies have reported infiltration attempts by terrorists, along the LoC and the IB, and apprehension of facilitation of these attempts if high speed mobile data services are restored. They have also indicated potential of misuse of high speed data services in disturbing public order,” Kabra said.

On August 16, J&K government had ordered restoration of high-speed internet (4G) in Ganderbal and Udhampur districts, on trial basis till September 8 after the Central government had told the Supreme Court that a special committee looking into the issue of internet restoration in Jammu and Kashmir was considering allowing 4G internet access on a trial basis in the Union Territory.

Pertinently, high speed internet services were snapped across J&K on August 4 last year, hours before the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of erstwhile state into two UTs. Slow-speed (2G) internet was restored in January.