Amid the first positive case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) tested in Jammu-Kashmir's Srinagar, NC patron Farooq Abdullah, on Thursday, wrote to PM Modi, to direct the J&K administration to restore 4G internet services in the Valley. He pointed out that with the restrictions imposed in the Valley, post abrogation of Article 370, students of the Union Territory were already finding it difficult to study. With the additional restrictions imposed in the Valley to fight Coronavirus (COVID-19), he said it was impossible for students and people to work/study from home without fast internet services. The valley has reported four cases - one positive.
The Union territory administration has already declared COVID-19 an epidemic, imposing section 144 in certain areas. The administration has also barred all foreign visitors from visiting the Valley and stopped all pilgrimages to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine. Shutting down all schools, educational institutes, restaurants, hotels, gyms, swimming pools till March 31, the administration has also all foreign tourists or visitors arriving in J&K will be quarantined, including all travellers coming from Union Territory of Ladakh. The administration is also in talks with the MEA to bring back 300 J&K students stranded in Coronavirus-hit Iran. Public transport too has been restricted in the Valley, after picking up in December after months of shutdown since August 5.
Restrictions have been put on communication links since August 5 in Jammu and Kashmir, these were subsequently eased. Since the revocation, state-run internet provider BSNL has restored internet services throughout the Kashmir valley, but with a speed of 2G with special instructions. The temporary ban on social media sites was removed last week, however, complaints of inaccessibility persisted. While former chief minister Farooq Abdullah was released from detention on March 13, other mainstream leaders including former CMs -Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and others including Shah Faesel, Naeem Akhtar, Ali Mohammad Sagar, and Sarah Madni have been detained under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA) by the Jammu-Kashmir administration for over seven months now.