Jammu & Kashmir is approaching a year of not having unfettered internet access, with the home department ordering that 2G internet speeds will continue at least until July 27. Internet was shut down in the region on August 4, when the state’s special status was stripped and it was bifurcated into two union territories.
While a complete internet shutdown was in place for seven months until January 2020, when the government began ‘whitelisting’ a few hundred websites, on 2G speeds. Access returned to all websites in March 4, but have been throttled to 2G ever since.
The union territory has lived through the entire pandemic with 2G internet, something which the administration suspends routinely as well, especially in the Kashmir valley. In June alone, 2G internet services has been suspended on multiple occasions across districts.
Internet shutdowns in June
Internet, voice, SMS suspended in Awantipora: On June 18, 2G data was shut down in Awantipora district from 4:30 am, following an encounter in Meerj Pampore village leading to the killing of 3 “terrorists” and recovery of arms and ammunition. By 1:20 pm, voice and SMS services were suspended in the district as well. Voice & SMS was restored after 24 hours at 11:15 am on June 19, and 2G data was restored at 7:40 pm. Another order by the J&K home department says voice & SMS services were suspended in the afternoon at 1:20 pm.
- 2G data was also suspended in Pulwama district from 9:30 am on June 18 until 11:30 pm the next day
June 29-30: Suspended in Anantnag district at 4:15 am on June 29 until 11:30 pm, following an encounter in Khulchoharar Runipora area. It was suspended once again on June 30 at 7 am until 12:30 pm, following another encounter in Waghama Bijbehara.
- June 25-26: Suspended in Sopore district on June 25 from 4:45 am until 10:30 am the next day, following an encounter in Hardshiva area
- June 23-24: Suspended in Pulwama district at 5:50 am on June 23, until 10:05 pm the next day, after an encounter in Bundzoo area.
- On June 21, 2G services were snapped in Srinagar district at 3:35 am until 10:30 pm. This was ordered after an encounter n Gillikadal Zunimar village, which led to the killing of 3 militants.
June 18-21: 2G suspended in Shopian on June 18 at 2:50 pm until 11:40 am on June 20, following an encounter at Bandpawa Imam Sahib village, leading to the killing of 5 terrorists and recovery of arms and ammunition. After being restored in before noon, 2G was snapped once again in Shopian, along with Kulgam district, at 5:25 pm for over 24 hours, finally getting restored at 9 pm on June 21. This was following an encounter in Lakadpora village in Shopian.
- 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