After remaining shut for almost five months, 2G mobile internet services on post-paid as well as prepaid phones have been restored in the Kashmir Valley on Saturday. However, access is limited only on whitelisted websites.
The decision has come as a major relief for the residents. Expressing their happiness, they said that people had been facing hardships for a long time after internet and mobile connectivity was snapped on August 5 last year, and hoped the situation to improve further. Speaking to ANI, a resident said, "It is a big relief to people. People can finish their pending work. I hope that 4G services will also be resumed soon."
Although the internet services have been restored in the Union Territory, the internet speed is only restricted to 2G. A statement released by the government read, "Access shall be limited only to whitelisted sites and not to any social media applications allowing peer to peer communication and virtual private network applications. Directions shall be effective from January 25 and will remain in force till January 31." Earlier on January 15, 2G services were reinstated in Jammu, Samba, Kathua, and Udhampur for white-listed sites.
The Central government had suspended the internet services in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A that revoked the special status of the state and bifurcated it into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. Apart from suspending the internet, the political leaders in the state were kept under house arrest.
Meanwhile, the Central government is holding an outreach program in Jammu and Kashmir with an aim to spread the information about the importance of the Centre's policies for the overall development of the Union Territory. According to reports, the Centre's delegation will be interacting with the people in Jammu and Kashmir and educate them about various implementations.
Earlier, several Union Ministers including Minister of State (MoS) in the Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh; MoS for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources Arjun Ram Meghwal and MoS for Health Ashwini Choubey visited Jammu as a part of the first phase of the Centre's outreach program.