Ban on high-speed Internet services extended in Indian-controlled Kashmir


  • India
  • Sunday, 16 Feb 2020

Kashmiri journalists browse the internet on their mobile phones inside the media centre set up by government authorities in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir. Authorities in restive Indian-controlled Kashmir extended the ban on high-speed 3G and 4G Internet services until Feb 24, officials said on Sunday (Feb 16). - AP

NEW DELHI: Authorities in restive Indian-controlled Kashmir extended the ban on high-speed 3G and 4G Internet services until Feb 24, officials said on Sunday (Feb 16).

The decision to extend the ban on highspeed Internet services was taken during a review meeting held Saturday evening.

"The internet speed shall be restricted to 2G only," reads the order.

"The aforesaid directions shall remain in force from 16 February 2020 and remain in force till 24 February 2020, unless modified earlier."

The government restored limited speed Internet (2G service) in the region on January 25 after over five months of a complete ban on it. Subscribers at present are only able to access whitelisted websites.

In another development, India plans to offer around 6,000 acres (2,400 hectares) of land in kashmir as part of a business summit planned for April or May to help the Himalayan region after withdrawing its special rights and making sweeping administrative changes.

Jammu and kashmir was India's only Muslim-majority state until August, when the federal government split off a Buddhist-dominated enclave, and designated both as federally-administered territories.

The government enforced the changes through a harsh crackdown, deploying thousands of additional troops, imposing a communication blackout and detaining scores of people.

Now the government is offering the land, along with tax breaks and insurance cover, to draw businesses there, according to Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, the region's Commissioner Secretary in charge of industry and commerce.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government insists that the reorganisation in August was essential to spur development in Jammu and kashmir, which is also claimed by Pakistan.

The area is one of India's least industrialised regions, with per capita income of 62,145 rupees (US$870) in 2016-2017, lower than the national average of 82,229 rupees but better than several other states.

More than 1,300 acres of the land offered is in the scenic kashmir valley, the centre of a 30-year revolt against Indian rule in the territory, according to an investor presentation reviewed by Reuters.

In some conflict-ridden areas, the government would consider providing security and higher insurance cover to comfort investors, Dwivedi said. - Xinhua/Asian News Network
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