The conditions within the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir have been tense, to put it mildly. After the removal of Article 370 last year and the Internet being shut down for more than 6 months as to ‘calm down the protests’, the people of Jammu and Kashmir can finally breathe a sigh of relief as prepaid connections are finally being restored in the region, with 2G services(Hello 2005) being resumed in two districts of the valley.
“The mobile internet connectivity shall, however, remain suspended in the districts of Srinagar, Budgam, Ganerbal, Baramulla, Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama,” the government order released on Saturday said.
Communication with the valley had been next to none, and it’s like what happens in Kashmir, stays in Kashmir.
Finally, after what must have felt like an eternity, Voice and SMS facilities were restored for all local prepaid mobile phone users across the newest Union Territory of India, as its newest status.
Rohit Kansal, the principal secretary to the administration of Jammu and Kashmir said the order will come into effect from Saturday.
“Internet Service Providers (ISPs- BSNL/Private Service Providers) to provide fixed-line internet connectivity, with precautions as already directed, to those companies that are engaged in Software (IT/ITES) services,” the order added.
The valley had been Internet free since last August, after a violent protest was being speculated due to the infamous removal of Article 370. Since then, people all around the globe have been coming forward to defend the rights of Kashmiris, who had been deprived of a right as fundamental as the Internet.
This isn’t the only display of Internet shutdown in the subcontinent. In 2019, India became the country with the highest number of internet shutdowns across the globe. The political landscape of the country is at major unrest, and many places have faced internet shutdowns, even bigger cities like Lucknow and Delhi, the capital.
It’s still unclear when the Internet services will go back to the way they were before Article 370 was removed, and how the lives of the people have been affected as a result, but things will become clearer in the coming months.