Srinagar: The Government of India finally restored high speed internet in Jammu and Kashmir, which it had been denying the people for 550 days.
People took to the social media to vent out their frustration on the denial, soon after the official spokesperson of government of J&K, Rohit Kansal, announced the news on twitter.
The tweet said, “4G mobile internet services being restored in entire J&K.”
The UT of J&K was put under the world’s longest internet shutdown in a democratic country on the August 5, 2019, when Government of India stripped Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status by unilaterally revoking Article 370 of the Indian constitution.
4G internet was restored in Kashmir after a period of 18 months.
A July 2020 report from the forum for Human Rights had said that Jammu and Kashmir registered economic losses to the tune of staggering Rupees 40,000 Crore since August 2019 and saw half a million people lose their jobs.
Many in Kashmir were forced to leave in search of jobs, after businesses collapsed here due to the internet blockade.
With the news of restoration of 4G services after 550 days, most of the Netizens reacting on the social media said that the 4G has been restored due to “international pressure”.
“Why do I have this uncanny feeling that this 4G restoration is less about J&K people and more about international image due to farmers protest,” tweeted Anuradha Bhasin, the Editor of Kashmir Times.
Anuradha Bhasin had filed a PIL in Supreme Court earlier in January 2020 about the necessity of restoration of the services.
Netizens took to twitter to say that “getting 4G internet was their fundamental right, of which they were being deprived for so long and now by restoring it after 18 months, the government is doing no favour”.
“A senior apology was due while restoring 4G in Kashmir. Fundamental rights shouldn’t be billed as an incentive or concession,” tweeted Reyaz Masroor, BBC correspondent, Srinagar.
The people of J&K have been paying for the 4G internet service and were getting 2G service instead, after 2G services were restored on January 25, 2020 in some parts of UT and on May 12, 2020 in the entire J&K.
However on August 16, 2020, 4G services were restored on trial basis in two districts of UT, Ganderbal and Udhampur.
Taking to twitter, a netizen said that ‘for 18 long months, all the cellular companies had looted the people of J&K. All of them had taken the money from customers for services they haven’t provided’.
He tweeted, “Someone should file a case for compensation against these looters.”
RTI Activist Saket Gokhale tweeted, “The restoration of 4G in Kashmir was as abrupt as its suspension in August 2019. This clearly proves there were no ‘security reasons’ & it was done by Modi-Shah purely to crush the rights of Kashmiris. Restoring it is no benevolence. The government must explain what it achieved.”
“Also if the Supreme Court of India really wants to uphold people’s faith in the judiciary, it must not dismiss the pending petitions regarding restoration of 4G in Kashmir & should instead demand a detailed affidavit from Modi govt. on why it was done and what it achieved,” Gokhale added.