The Jammu and Kashmir administration, on Wednesday, extended the ban on high-speed internet till November 12 across all districts except Ganderbal and Udhampur.
The administration quoted the same order of number Home-114(TSTS) of 2020, dated 21-10-2020, issued by Principal Secretary to the Government Shaleen Kabra which read "the Special Committee constituted by the Supreme Court held its meeting to consider the continuation or otherwise of the directions regarding the regulation of the Internet Services in the views expressed by security agencies and administration of J&K, especially related to the security aspects, the border security and the concerns on account of public order."
"The Committee noted that the internet speed-related restrictions are not posing a hindrance to COVID control measures, access to educational programmes and carrying out of business activities. The matter has been further considered in the meetings of the State Level Committee, considering the observations of the Special Committee and assessment about the impact of the trial of opening up of high-speed internet connectivity," the order read.
"Various measures taken by the Government, especially during the recent past, to empower people have not gone down well with the separatist and (militant) organizations, aided and abetted from across the border. There have been multiple instances of attacks on the security forces, political workers, etc. to subvert these initiatives and the political process which has been set in motion." the order further read.
According to the administration, "anti-national elements" use the high-speed internet "for carrying out various activities inimical to the public order apart from misleading the youth to join (militant) ranks, which necessitates taking of pre-emptive measures".
The government, however, ordered that 4G connectivity to Ganderbal and Udhampur districts of the erstwhile state shall continue to be available on postpaid sim cards, in the rest of districts only 2G connectivity will work.
Authorities have discontinued Internet and mobile communication services in Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019, before the Centre revoked Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories. Low-speed or 2G internet services were restored on mobile phones on January 25.