SRINAGAR: Internet would be restored soon, but in a phased manner, Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Girish Chandra Murmu, said on Wednesday. However, he did not mention any timeline for restoration of internet services.
Murmu told the media at Sheeri in Baramulla district of North Kashmir that the situation in Kashmir has improved with the help of the police and security forces. On restoring internet services, he said that the police and security personnel are assessing the situation on a daily basis.
Murmu’s statement comes at a time when Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Information Technology minister, informed the Lok Sabha during Parliament’s winter session that the government has no plans at present to make internet a fundamental right for the Indian citizens.
Meanwhile, leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the ban on internet services has had an adverse impact on people’s lives and that the education and healthcare sectors have been the worst affected.
Recently, thousands of students in Kashmir appealed through the media to the government to lift the ban on internet services. Most of these students are preparing for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). The students have been visiting the centres daily to fill their examination forms, and due to the ban on internet services, the centres are witnessing a heavy rush.
Mubasir Ahmad, a NEET aspirant, told The Sunday Guardian: “I have been coming to one of the government outlets daily to fill the examination form for the past one week.”
Mahapara, another NEET aspirant, said: “The government can continue the ban on Facebook, WhatsApp and Instragram, but should provide internet to the students so that we can study.”
Meanwhile, the government said that the detentions were made under the statutory provisions by the magistrates concerned based on their satisfaction in each case. The Centre told Lok Sabha that it cannot provide any timeline for the release of the three former Chief Ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.