Sep 28, 2015 – YUSUF JAMEEL | Srinagar
The 82-hour blanket ban on Internet services in Jammu and Kashmir was fully lifted at 10 am Monday. However, the police has warned that “misuse” of data services and messaging services like WhatsApp and SMS (to stoke communal tension in the state) would invite legal action.
The unprecedented move by the state government, which, ironically, came ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Silicon Valley in the US, evoked widespread condemnation across J&K and beyond. The police authorities had initially asked service providers to suspend Internet and other data services in the Kashmir Valley for 41 hours — from Friday 5 am — to discourage people from uploading “objectionable” videos and pictures and spreading rumours through social networking sites during the Muslim festival of Id-ul-Zuha.
Inspector-general of police (Kashmir range) S.J.M.Gilani, in a letter written Thursday to various service providers, had asked them to suspend data services through GPRS, broadband, 2G and 3G in the Kashmir Valley for 41 hours from 5 am on August 25.
The letter had read, “In view of the apprehension of misuse of data services by anti-national elements, which is likely to cause deterioration in the law and order situation, you are requested to completely snap data services through GPRS, 2G, 3G and broadband in the Kashmir Valley starting from 0500 hours on August 25 to 2200 hours on August 26.”
However, another letter sent to service providers asked them to suspended Internet services in Jammu region as well. In yet another letter, the police authorities extended the blanket ban till Monday morning from August 24