Jammu, November 12: Barring Udhampur and Ganderbal districts, ban on 3G and 4G high speed internet data will continue across the Union Territory.
The order shall remain in force till November 26, said an order issued by Principal Secretary Home Shaleen Kabra, adding that while the post paid sim card holders shall continue to be provided access to the internet, these services shall not be made available on pre-paid cards unless verified as per the nrms applicable for post paid connections.
Pointing out that the recently announced elections to 280 Distirict Development Councils Constituencies and bye-elections to more than 13,400 vacancies in panchayati raj institutions/urban local bodies across J&K are witnessing “high level of interest’’ amongst people, the order read that “It is apprehended that the terrorists and separatist elements shall make every possible attempt to disrupt the democratic process’’. “During the last fortnight, there have also been targeted killing of the civilians, political activists, that manifest the nefarious designs of the (militants) to dissuade general public from participating in the election process,” it added
“Such unlawful acts heavily rely upon high speed mobile internet connectivity and are required to be thwarted by taking appropriate pre-emptive measures to create an environment of safety and security for the contesting candidates and the general public,” the order added.
As such, “in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State and for maintaining public order’’, the “high speed mobile data services in the districts of Ganderbal and Udhampur shall continue to be made available, while in rest of the districts the internet speed be restricted to 2G only’’, the order said.
It also pointed out that “taking note of the observations regarding regulation of internet services made in the report or the Special Committee constituted by the Supreme Court and the reports of the law enforcement agencies regarding the prevailing security environment, directions for allowing access to the high speed internet services were issued while ensuring that the same do not impede the efforts of the Government towards COVID control measures, enabling access to educational programmes and ensuring conduct of business activities in an effective manner’’.
“These directions have had a salutary effect on misuse of data services for rumor mongering, circulation of fake news, inducement of local youth to join the terrorist ranks and coordination of terror activities and the situation requires continued close monitoring considering the attempts of infiltration from across the border, presence of foreign terrorists affiliated lo Pak based terror outfits and a number of terror acts in recent past necessitating even complete suspension of the internet/telecom services, albeit for a limited period of time,” it added.