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4G ban to continue till April 15, says J&K government

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The J&K administration on Friday extended the ban on the high-speed 4G Internet on mobile telephony till April 15 citing the new domicile law as one of the reasons, in spite of the rights groups and civil society members demanding its restoration in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak.

Also read | Media wants 4G Net restored in J&K to fight COVID-19

“Recent domicile law has the potential to be exploited by those inimical to public peace and tranquillity and cause large scale violence and disturb public order, which has till date been maintained due to various preemptive measures, including internet restrictions,” Principal Secretary, Home, Shaleen Kabra said, in the fresh order.

He said it (2G speed) has not posed any hindrance to COVID-19 control measures or to access the online educational content. “The decision (not to restore 4G) comes after the reports of the intelligence agencies that anti-nationals are making attempts to spread propaganda and ideologies aimed at disturbing the public order and cause dissatisfaction and discontent, besides coordinating terrorism,” the order added.

Also read | CISCO Denies Building Firewall to Restrict Internet in J&K

Mr. Kabra said the instances of fake news have necessitated use of tear gas in the recent past. “There are also recovery of ammunition of killings by terrorists. Besides, provocative video and material being uploaded, as also infiltration from across the border,” he added.

Internet service was stopped in J&K on August 5 last year and was restored in phases in second week of January. At present, only 2G mobile internet is allowed. However, internet on the fixed-line broadband services are working normally.

The decision will disappoint many in J&K, as the rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, and seven civil society groups were demanding restoration of high speed internet in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak.

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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 4:01:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/4g-ban-to-continue-till-april-15-says-jk-government/article31253534.ece

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