BENEATH THE CLAIMS
Jammu and Kashmir remained under lockdown from August 4, last year when the central government decided to remove the special status. Most of the political leaders, activists, former ministers, lawmakers and former chief ministers were detained. The authorities also suspended telephones, landlines and internet services.
After six months of ban the longest in any part of the world, internet services and telephones were restored but the speed was curbed to 2G.
Though students, business community and doctors appealed authorities to restore 4G services especially in the current pandemic, the government responded by extending the ban till May 11, 2020.
As the matter is in the Supreme Court both JK administration and the central government have connected restoration of 4G service with national security. They have submitted before the court that restoration of 4G services will enhance the chances of violence and also help the neighboring country to go for violence in Kashmir valley.
The government submitted to the court the launch of militant organizations, the incident of 500 local residents attending the funeral of a slain Jaish-e-Mohammed commander, 108 militant-related incidents since 5 August, and rumors related to the health of separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani as some of the reasons for the continued ban on 4G internet.
It is submitted that advisories/steps taken against the misuse of mobile data services which are prevalent in other parts of the country may not be practical and definitely not suffice in case of J&K, the government said.
The court will have to intervene and give direction to the government how to proceed in Jammu and Kashmir regarding the restoration of high speed internet services. Court had all arguments before it and it would be keenly watched in Kashmir what would be the judgment of Supreme Court on the restoration of internet services here.