After almost seven months, broadband internet service has been restored in Jammu and Kashmir. Broadband services were disrupted in the Valley on August 5 of last year when the Indian parliament moved a motion to abrogate Article 370.
On March 4, the Jammu and Kashmir administration decided to lift the ban imposed in the union territory on social media sites following the abrogation of Article 370 in August of last year. A circular was issued in this regard to inform people that they will now be allowed unrestricted internet access with 2G speed.
According to reports, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has blocked the Virtual Private Network (VPNs) after receiving information that locals were using VPNs to access banned social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp among others.
In January of this year, the Supreme Court of India declared access to internet a fundamental right. A bench of the country’s highest court said that a government cannot deprive the citizens of fundamental rights except under certain conditions. This landmark ruling was aligned with a recommendation by the United Nations that every country should make access to internet a fundamental right.
On August 5 of last year, both houses of the Indian parliament passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill. The bill proposed the bifurcation of the state into two union territories, namely Ladakh and Jammu-Kashmir.