Restrictions which limit mobile internet to 2G speeds will continue in Jammu & Kashmir at least until July 8, the territory’s home department directed on Wednesday. Jammu & Kashmir has lived with restricted access to the internet since August 2019 in one form or another. It was under a complete communications shut down at least until January 20, when 153 websites were allowed to be accessed on 2G postpaid users.
Internet access for all websites was finally allowed in March 2020 – but speeds were restricted only 2G, with prepaid mobile connections requiring verification norms for postpaid services.
In its latest order, the administration has claimed that terrorists have been eliminated “without adversely impacting the public order” and this has been possible because data services were not misused by “anti-national elements”. The order also cited terrorist infiltration attempts at Kalakot and Naushera sector along the LoC in Jammu.
The region has had live with 2G internet speeds for the entire duration of the lockdown brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Even during the lockdown the administration has continued to shut down even 2G internet multiple times. In June alone, internet blackouts took place on at least 12 different days, usually in Kashmir.
- June 13-14: Suspended in Kulgam district from 6:25 am on June 13 to 11 am on June 14, following an encounter in Zadoora Nipora village.
- June 10-12: Internet was suspended on June 10 from 6:15 am and continued for almost three days (until 9:10 pm on June 12). This was after an encounter in Soguu Hendhama village in the district.
- June 7-8: Suspended in Shopian district from 8:20 am on June 7 until 10 pm the next day, following an encounter in Zainapora belt. 2G was also suspended from 10:10 am on June 7 in Kulgam district until 10 pm the next day.
- June 3-5: 2G was suspended in Pulwama district from 5 pm on June 3 until 6 pm on June 5, following an encounter in Asthan Mohalla, Kangan areas of the district
- June 2: Suspended in Awantipora district from 6:10 am to 5:20 pm, after an encounter in Simoh, Tral area
Internet shutdowns in May end:
- May 31: Suspended in Anantnag district, from 3:30 am to 10:30 am, after an encounter in Poshkreeri Srigufwara area
- May 30: Suspended in Kulgam district from 8:15 am to 4 pm, following an encounter between Wanpora area in the district
See the other shutdowns in May here.