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No 4G mobile internet in J&K sans two districts till Sep 30

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Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Tuesday ordered continuous suspension of high speed mobile data services in the Union Territory except Ganderbal and Udhampur districts till September 30, 2020.

According to an order, issued by the Principal Secretary to the government, Shaleen Kabra under number Home- 99 (TSTS) of 2020, dated 08-09-2020, the facility would remain suspended in all districts barring two.

“In pursuance of the recommendations made by the Special Committee in its meeting dated 10.08.2020 for considering calibrated casing of restrictions in limited and comparatively less sensitive geographical areas, read with the reports of the law enforcement agencies, vide Government Order No: Home- 91(TSTS) of 2020 dated 16.08.2020, the directions relating to high speed internet services in various districts were issued, which include the high speed mobile data services in the districts of Ganderbal and Udhampur shall be restored forthwith, on trial basis, while in rest of the districts, the internet speed shall continue to be restricted to 2G only: and While the post paid sim card holders shall continue to be provided access to the internet, these services shall not be made available on pre-paid cards unless verified as per the norms applicable for post-paid connections.”

In the order, the government further stated that fixed line internet connectivity, without any speed related restrictions, shall continue to be made available with Mac-binding.

The order added that the aforesaid directions were reviewed by the Review Committee on 21.08.2020 and 01.09.2020. The Committee, while taking note of the assessment made by the law enforcement agencies that no reports of misuse of high speed internet services in the Districts of Ganderbal and Udhampur had been reported, observed that the situation needed to be monitored closely and the law enforcement agencies have furnished credible inputs that the militant modules operating in various parts of the UT of J&K, with active support from across the border as well as separatists/anti-national elements from within, are making sustained efforts to provoke sentiments of the gullible youth and lure them into militant organizations to fill the vacuum created by the killing of many militants.

It added, the agencies have reported infiltration attempts by militants, along the LoC and the IB and apprehension of facilitation of these attempts if high speed mobile data services are restored.

“They have also indicated potential of misuse of high speed data services in disturbing public order,” the order added.

“Now, therefore, considering the reports of the law enforcement agencies, inter-alia, bringing out the necessity of speed related restrictions on mobile data services, 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 sections 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 indicated at para 1 above shall continue to remain in force till 30 September, 2020, unless modified earlier,” Kabra said.

“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.

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