• 2G internet service for Bandipora, Kupwara
• Govt white lists 153 websites
• No news, social media site mentioned in order
The government Saturday announced restoration of prepaid mobile connections in Kashmir while 2G internet services would be resumed in twin north Kashmir districts after remaining disconnected since August 5 last year.
As per the order issued by the Home department of Jammu Kashmir, voice and SMS services would be restored in all local prepaid mobiles phones across Jammu Kashmir.
Further in order to consider the provision of mobile internet connectivity on these SIM cards, the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) have been asked to initiate the process for verification of credentials of these subscribers as per the norms applicable for postpaid connections.
The order reads, “Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal being satisfied that it is necessary so to do in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India (sic).”
It states that 2G mobile data services on postpaid mobiles for accessing white listed websites would be allowed in Bandipora and Kupwara districts in Kashmir and 10 districts of Jammu region.
“The mobile internet connectivity will remain suspended in Srinagar, Budgam, Ganderbal, Baramulla, Ananatnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama districts,” the order said.
As per the order, “Internet Service Providers and Private Service Providers to provide fixed line internet connectivity with precautions already directed, to those companies that are engaged in software (IT/ITES) services (sic).”
The telecom services were shut in entire Jammu Kashmir after Government of India abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated the erstwhile State into two union territories.
However, the Supreme Court last week came down heavily on the Jammu Kashmir administration for arbitrary shutting down internet facility and described it as the fundamental right.
As per the order, the IGPs of Kashmir and Jammu should ensure communication of these directions to the service providers forthwith and ensure implementation of the direction with immediate effect.
“The aforesaid directions should be effective from January 18 and remain in force till January 24 unless modified earlier,” the order states.
According to the order, the government has white listed 153 websites of banking, education, employment, entertainment, travel and other related services.
However, no social media website or news site has been mentioned in the said order.
Earlier, on October 14, the government restored postpaid mobile connections after 72 days in Kashmir while mobile and internet services have remained suspended since August 5.