Four days after the Supreme Court observed that internet facility is a right of the citizens under Article 19, government sources have confirmed to Republic that landline-based Broadband internet services will be resumed. Sources on Tuesday have said that services will be resumed in Kashmir in the next few days.
The Supreme Court had on December 10, ordered the Jammu and Kashmir administration to review all restrictive orders within a week. The top court, while pronouncing the verdict on a batch of pleas, including that of Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, challenging the restrictions imposed in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, after the abrogation of Article 370, had said
The top court had also observed that the ban on the internet should be an extreme measure to be considered by the state. Pulling up the Centre, the SC stated that the Central government's refusal not to produce all documents citing privilege cannot be a valid ground. The apex court also told the Centre to allow government websites and e-banking facilities. Earlier, in the first week of January, centre had restored SMS and broadband services in schools and colleges of in the valley.
On August 5, Parliament abrogated Article 370 of Indian Constitution that exempted Jammu and Kashmir from following the Indian Constitution except for Article 1 and itself. Announcing the decision in the Parliament, Home Minister Amit Shah said that it will correct a "historic wrong". Additionally, the Modi government bifurcated the state of Jammu and Kashmir and changed its status to Union Territories - Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh.
Ahead of the historic decision, the Central government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi placed around 40,000 troops in the state and placed the mainstream leaders including three chief ministers - NC's Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, and PDP's Mehbooba Mufti on preventive custody. The Centre after intimation from Army also evacuated Amarnath yatris, and the Chinar Corps of Indian Army revealed that they had intelligence inputs that there were attempts of attacks on Amarnath Yatra by Pakistan.
Centre also imposed a complete ban on the internet in the valley and phone lines including mobile networks were shut. The Modi government eventually removed restrictions, however, internet shutdown is still in place in some areas of the valley. Even as Modi government has been repeatedly giving proofs of normalcy in the valley, many areas are still under lockdown, almost 6 months after the revocation of Article 370.