With the shutdown of internet services, people in the Valley, particularly students, are once again facing hard times.
Mobile internet services were suspended earlier this month on the eve of parliamentary bypolls but soon enough the internet gag was removed. The broadband services were also snapped, but were restored later.
Apprehensive that the prevailing situation in the Valley may further deteriorate, the authorities decided to snap the 3G and 4G internet services.
The situation in the Valley may take a different turn as it is being reported that the state security apparatus is seriously thinking of banning social media platforms like Facebook and Whatsapp. This was discussed in a security review meeting that was chaired by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minster Mehbooba Mufti.
Students are the worst hit due to the frequent internet clampdown. PG student, Wajahat Shabir, said, “It is exam time and at the suspension of internet services is affecting our studies badly. At times you have to look for literature online, but due to the clampdown it is not possible.”
Another PG Student, Arif Nazir, echoed the same thing and said, “Students have to apply for different competitive exams, fellowships and scholarships, now that 3G and 4G services are down, we have to move out and see if anybody is having a broadband connection. Even to download a 10 KB file we have to either look for a broadband connection or have to travel to the University which is quite hectic.”
Law student, Deeba Ashraf, said “It is a direct violation of our basic rights. In an era where people often use terms like globalization and global village, Kashmir is nowhere to be found. We can’t even connect to our near and dears living in other states, not to talk of connecting with the world. In addition to this our studies are also getting affected.”
As per the data available, since 2012 internet has been suspended 31 times in Jammu and Kashmir.