Internet blockade hits media

SRINAGAR: The government has suspended Internet services in Kashmir on Saturday ahead of Pakistan’s Independence Day on Sunday.
Both private Internet Service Providers and state-owned BSNL Broadband services were snapped. Media organisations in the Valley were the worst hit because of the communication blockade.
A source told Kashmir Reader that Internet service providers were formally conveyed to shut the services till August 15.
It was learnt that the ISPs which have newspaper outlets as clients were specifically directed to shut the services.
On Friday, the ISPs were verbally conveyed to disconnect the net to newspaper offices yet they sought a written order.
“Today, we received a mail from police asking us to wind up services,” said Kashmir Reader’s service provider. But no official was available to comment on internet blockade of newspapers.
The joint resistance group had called for a Referendum March on August 13 and 14, appealing people to reach Lal Chowk and offer prayers for Pakistan after every prayer.
A New Delhi-based newspaper reported that intelligence agencies are worried because people are planning to organise events on Pakistan’s Independence Day.
After Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed last month, the government shut the mobile services including Internet of private telecom operators. Later, the government banned mobile telephony across the Valley to block information.
Also, a five-day ban was clamped on media with police raiding printing presses and confiscating newspapers. Later, the chief minister Mehbooba Mufti officially apologised for the gag.

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