Social media remains banned as India partially ‘restores’ internet in IoK
Complete restriction on social media still continues in Kashmir Valley.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Wednesday moves to partially ‘restore’ internet phone services in parts of the region amid restrictions on social media applications.
The internet blackout continued six months ago after they were first blocked by New Delhi.
However, there will be a complete restriction on social media applications that may facilitate peer to peer communication.
Broadband and internet facilities are to be restored in five districts of the region.
Shaleen Kabra, principal secretary of the J&K Home Department, said that the Kashmir administration will establish 400 additional Internet kiosks.
She directed service providers to provide “broadband facility” to all institutions.
Like essential services, hospitals, banks, government offices, hotels, tour and travel establishments.
“Prior to giving such a facility, the lnternet Service Providers (ISP) shall install necessary firewalls.
ISP shall carry out ‘white-listing’ of sites that would enable access to government websites, e-banking, etc.
However, excluding all the social media sites.
To amplify, there shall be complete restriction on social media applications allowing peer to peer communication and virtual private network applications for the time being,” the order added.
The decision to partially restore internet connectivity in the region follows a decision by the Indian Supreme Court last week.
The SC had ordered the restoration of the internet for all essential services in Jammu and Kashmir.
Last year in December, India had announced it would allow some incoming text messages into occupied Kashmir.
Officials in Delhi said millions in the restive Himalayan region will be able to receive service messages.
They will still be unable to send messages, they had added.
The August crackdown has drawn international criticism, with diplomats from several countries raising concerns about the sorry state of human rights in the valley.
Several hundreds of Kashmiri politicians, activists, lawyers and others remain in custody, mostly without charge, including former chief ministers and the mayor of capital Srinagar.