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Govt extends 2G internet till May 11, cites launch of new militant outfits

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Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Government on Monday extended ban on the high-speed internet in Jammu and Kashmir till May 11.
In a latest order issued by the Home department, the reason cited for the decision includes spurt in militant violence, launch of new outfits and “well founded” apprehensions of the “field agencies” regarding “enhanced efforts by Pakistan for recruitment in the (militant) ranks as well as infiltration attempts, which heavily depend on high speed internet.”
“Such restrictions have been placed in order to curb uploading, downloading, circulation of provocative videos, guard against rumour mongering, fake news, prevent use of encrypted messaging and VOIP services for infiltration and coordinating (militant) activities, and defeat the nefarious designs from across the border to propagate (militantcy,” reads the order issued here by principal Secretary Home department.
It said the misuse of data services by “anti-national elements” has potential to scale up violent activities and disturb public order, “which has till now been maintained due to gradual easing of restrictions on access to the internet while ensuring that rights and interests of the citizens are not affected adversely.”
“Now, therefore, on consideration of the overall security scenario and the reports of the law enforcing agencies, I am satisfied that there is no other alternative but to continue with the speed restrictions in respect of access to internet through mobiles while providing unrestricted fixed line connectivity i.e. without any speed restrictions, and, accordingly, in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the Security of the State and for maintaining public order, ….I, Principal Secretary to the Government, Home Department, hereby direct that there shall (restrictions on access to internet with mobile data services restricted to 2G only.” Reads the order, adding that these restrictions shall continue till May 11.

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