Internet Shutdowns and Kashmir

Internet is the lifeline of every society owing to its multi- dimensional uses. In Kashmir valley a decade back the real internet boom ushered and people of Kashmir started its use for carrying out business, social networking and other activities.

Unfortunately, due to ongoing political upheavals the medium of internet has been biggest causality .

As a matter of fact,Jammu and Kashmir has experienced 27 Internet shutdowns since 2012, highest for any other Indian state, with nine such incidents reported in 2016, data by legal service organisation SFLC revealed. On the otherhand, as a standard procedure, mobile services and mobile internet is snapped in Kashmir valley on Indian Republic and Independence days, with an exception on this year’s Republic Day.

The data released few days back  provided by Software Freedom Law Centre (SFLC) reflects that since 2012 there have been 62 incidents of Internet shutdowns across various regions in 12 states in the country, with 30 being reported in 2016 itself, and four instances in the first month of 2017.

Last year for many months internet was shutdown affecting life adversely in Kashmir valley. Pertinently, after Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani was killed on July 8, 2016, mobile internet services were snapped by the authorities citing security reasons. The services were restored on November 19 for post-paid connections and on January 27, 2017 for pre-paid connections.

One hopes there will be end to this frequent internet shutdowns in Kashmir.