4G to continue in Ganderbal and Udhampur in J&K, other areas to have 2G only

The Jammu and Kashmir Government on Tuesday decided that 4G high-speed mobile internet facility will continue in the districts of Ganderbal (Kashmir Division) and Udhampur (Jammu Division), as no reports of misuse have been reported here.

However, citing security concerns, the administration decided against extending 4G speed in other districts.

In an order issued Tuesday evening, Principal Secretary in the Home Department Shaleen Kabra said law enforcement agencies had furnished credible inputs that terror modules operating in various parts of J&K, with active support from across the border as well as separatists/anti-national elements from within were making sustained efforts to lure young people into terrorist organisations.

The order added the agencies had also indicated the potential of misuse of high-speed data services in disturbing public order.

4G mobile internet services in Ganderbal and Udhampur will continue till September 30, unless modified earlier.

In the rest of the 18 other districts, the internet speed will continue to be restricted to 2G.

The J&K administration on August 16 had decided to lift the restriction on high-speed Internet services in districts of Ganderbal and Udhampur on a trial basis.

Last month, while hearing a contempt petition against the Centre, the Supreme Court had directed the government to explore the possibility of restoring high-speed internet in certain parts of the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.

In response, the Attorney General for India informed the Court on August 11 that the Special Committee as constituted by the Court in its meeting held on August 10 had decided that access to high-speed internet could be provided on a trial basis in a calibrated manner in specified limited areas to assess the impact on the security scenario.

The special committee also added that any opening on a trial basis should not be in any area adjoining the International Border/Line of Control (LoC) but in areas with low intensity terrorist activities and minimal spillover effects on neighbouring areas.

Internet and voice services were snapped in J&K on August 5, 2019, when the Central government moved to abolish the special status of J&K by diluting Article 370 of the Constitution that gave special rights to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. Since then broadband and 2G services have been restored in phases.

Image Courtesy: Reuters