Internet ban in south Kashmir cripples students, job aspirants

Internet ban in south Kashmir cripples students, job aspirants
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SHOPIAN: Continuous shutdowns and snapping of internet in south Kashmir districts has paralysed life in the district, while thousands of students are suffering especially due to snapped internet.
The shutdown in Shopian and Pulwama has affected business as well as education, while internet is off since January 25.
Students and aspirants of different competitive examinations who have applied for different government jobs are facing hardships. Aspirants say most of the exams are going to be conducted this month.
Adil Hussain Lone, who is preparing for General Aptitude Test for Engineers (GATE), said the competitive examination is going to be held in second week of February, but because of snapped internet he could not prepare well.
“Times have changed. We can’t cover all the syllabus through books. Use of internet is must for better results but the government here is playing with our career banning Internet every second week,” Lone said.
Arif Hussain, a Pulwama resident, said that he has applied for teacher post in Education department
“This is my last chance since I am getting over-aged. I am studying hard and most of the times I need internet services for different topics,” Arif said while demanding immediate restoration of internet in Pulwama.
Shakir Mushtaq, a GATE aspirant from Harmain Shopian said he was preparing for exams online.
“I was preparing with the help of online lectures. The continuous internet suspension has devastated our career. This is the reasons aspirants from other parts perform better,” said Shakir.
Businesses have also been badly affected by the internet ban. Abdul Majid, a resident of Pulwama, said that he planned to start an online business but frequent internet bans were becoming a hurdle.
“They (government) first told us that they are going to make a cashless society where every important service runs on internet. On one side they claim making cashless society, a digital India and on the other hand they are throwing us towards stone age,” Majid said.
Residents of the twin districts said their life has been paralysed both by shutdown and internet bans.
The internet ban shuts down services like PAN, Aadhar, Passport filing, and even ATMs.
Suhail Ahmad Mir, a resident of Rajpora area of Pulwama said that government must think over the internet ban and come up with some alternative.
“If the government thinks internet creates law and order problem then they must punish those who were spreading rumours. The rich people particularly from political class use broadband services at their homes so they care about others,” Suhail said.
Businessmen from the districts said they have already been hit by the internet bans in 2016 and 2017.
“We are already under heavy losses due to the shutdown and Internet bans, if the situation remains same the day is not far when we will beg for our livelihood,” Aashiq Hussain, a native of Shopian said.
When contacted Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Muneer Khan said that he cannot divulge “when the Internet services in these twin districts will be restored”.
“Don’t you know the law and order problem there? Would you take responsibility? There is no alternative, when the situation will be normal we will restore the services and we don’t put permanent ban on internet. Wherever situation is normal, internet is working there,” Khan said.

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