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SOURCE: Kashmir Patriot

The ban on high speed mobile data services will continue across Jammu and Kashmir except two districts including Ganderbal in Kashmir and Udhampur in Jammu division, an order issued on Wednesday said.

According to an order issued by Principal Secretary to the Government, Shaleen Kabra under number Home-106(TSTS) of 2020, dated 30-09-2020, a copy of which lies with the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the ban on the high speed mobile data services will continue till 21st October, 2020.

“The directions have beck issued from time to time to restrict the access to high speed mobile internet connectivity, considering the misuse of data services by the terrorist organizations, their sympathizers (OCGWs) and anti-national elements for facilitating terrorist infiltration from across the border, reactivating the cadres through fresh recruitment of youth, coordinating and sealing up terror acts by communicating effectively with the OGWs and handlers from across the border through use of encrypted messaging and VOIP services, etc,” the order reads.

It added that “upon careful review of the overall security scenario at regular intervals, the restrictions have been eased in a gradual manner and as on date, the access to internet is available through fixed line without any speed related restrictions; however, in respect of mobile internet, the speed has been restricted to 2G across the UT of J&K. except in the districts of Ganderbal (Kashmir Division) and Udhampur (Jammu Division) where high speed mobile internet connectivity has been restored since 16.08.2020, on trial basis, in furtherance of the recommendations made by the Special Committee.”

“Inputs from the law enforcement agencies suggest that concerted efforts continue to be made by Pakistan, with the help of separatists/anti-national elements within the UT of J&K, to facilitate infiltration of terrorists, which depends heavily on high speed internet as also propagate terrorism by misuse of social media through circulation of provocative audio ‘video content, fake news, and coordination of terror activities, which 100 rely upon high speed mobile connectivity. During the last fortnight, there have been a number of terror incidents and recovery of huge cache of arms/ammunition, and, apprehending disruption to public order, with the larger aim of causing disaffection and discontent against the State, the mobile data services had to be completely suspended, though for limited durations, in some areas of the Kashmir Valley. Keeping this in view, the situation requires close monitoring including in the districts of Ganderbal and Udhampur,” the order added.

“Now, therefore, considering the position brought out above and reports of the law enforcement agencies, inter-alia, bringing out the necessity of speed related restrictions on mobile data services to prevent its misuse, and upon assessment of the available alternatives, I, Principal Secretary to the Government, Home Department, being satisfied that, it is absolutely necessary so to do in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State and for maintaining public order, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of section 5 of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and sub-rule (1) of rule 2 of the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017, hereby order that the directions issued vide Government Order No. Home-99(TSTS) of 2020 dated 08.09.2020 shall continue to remain in force till 21 October, 2020, unless modified earlier,” it added.

“The IsGP, Kashmir/Jammu, who are the authorized officers in their respective areas of jurisdiction, shall ensure communication of these directions to the service providers forthwith and their implementation in letter and spirit,” the order added