After nearly 2 years, 4G mobile internet restored in J&K
The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Friday announced that 4G mobile internet services will be restored across the union territory. The internet had been suspended in J&K back in August 2019 when the central government had abrogated Articles 370 and 35A, stripped the erstwhile state of its special status, and split it into two UTs. Here are more details.
J&K administration Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal tweeted on Friday, "4G mobile internet services being restored in entire J&K @diprjk." Sources told The Indian Express that a high-level committee headed by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla had taken the decision to restore 4G services based on reports by security agencies that the move will likely not cause any major security problem.
Former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who was among those detained after J&K's special status was revoked, tweeted, "4G Mubarak! For the first time since Aug 2019 all of J&K will have 4G mobile data. Better late than never."
In August 2019, the government had decided to suspend internet services across J&K, saying the move was taken based on intelligence inputs about possible attacks by terrorists infiltrating from across the border. Last year, the government had started restoring the internet in a phased manner, starting with broadband services. 4G mobile internet services were first restored in Ganderbal and Udhampur last September.
Apart from Ganderbal and Udhampur, elsewhere in the UT, only 2G mobile internet services had been allowed so far. Sources told TIE that the decision to restore 4G across J&K was taken based on the experience in Ganderbal and Udhampur.
An official told TIE, "No major incident of terror or law and order has taken place in the five months since the restoration of the internet in these districts. The whole idea of the trial run was this." 4G had not been restored because of reservations in Delhi, despite a constant push from the local administration, a security establishment officer from J&K reportedly said.
Earlier on Tuesday, the central government had told the Parliament that terrorist attacks in the Valley had more than halved in 2020 compared to 2019. During this period, the number of terrorists killed by security forces in Kashmir went up by 41%, the government said.