Day-2; Internet service remains suspended in Kashmir

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Srinagar, April 10
Internet service of all cellular companies,including Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) Broadband, remainedsuspended for the second day today, badly affecting media personal and professionals besides students in the Kashmir valley. The internet service was suspended since the intervening night of April 8 and April 9 in the valley, where eight people were killed and of April 8 and April 9 in the valley, where eight people were killed and
about 20 others wounded in security force and police action yesterday
when polling was held in Srinagar constituency.
More than 100 paramilitary forces and police personnel were also
injured in the day long clashes in the constituency, spread over three
districts of Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal districts, consisting of
15 assembly segments.
To prevent spread of any rumour on social media during polling,
authorities suspended internet in the entire valley. However,
suspension of the facility has led to spreading of more rumours,
leading to more protests and clashes.
Interestingly the broadband internet service of a private operated
CNS, which is mostly used by media organizations, was also suspended,
forcing media persons, working with national and international
organizations, to file their stories about Kashmir situation over the
phone.
Due to suspension of internet service, media organisation,
including UNI and majority of national and international newspapers
and other organizations, have been hit badly.
Ban on internet has also hit professionals and students, besides doctors.
“I work for an international company as a freelancer and now that
the internet is not working I will not be able to meet the deadlines
set for my projects. This is not the first time that it happened. In
the unrest in 2016, internet was suspended for over five months during
which I was forced to relocate to Delhi. I guess, I will have to move
out permanently, if the government keeps suspended internet services,”
a worried Irfan Saleem, who works for an MNC as a freelance, told UNI.
The gag on internet has been criticized by all sections of society,
including politicians and academics.
Hitting out at government over suspension of mobile and broadband
internet services in valley, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister
Omar Abdullah said it shows how bad things have become in the last
couple of years.
“Don’t remember this happening in previous elections. Just goes to
show how bad things have gotten in the last couple of years,” Mr
Abdullah, who is the working president of main opposition National
Conference (NC), yesterday wrote on micro-blogging site twitter.
Since violence hit Kashmir valley after the dead of Hizbul
Mujahideen (HM) commander Burhan Wani on July 8 last year, the
broadband internet and mobile phone services were suspended thrice
prior to this gag for around 25 days.
For around a month, the only mobile service functional in Kashmir
valley was BSNL while pre-paid services of all cellular companies were
restored after a span of three months on October 15 last year.
The mobile internet services for post-paid connections were
restored on November 19 last year after a gag of about five months.
Similarly, mobile internet services for prepaid connections were
restored in Kashmir on January 27, six months after they were
suspended.
Meanwhile, the telecast of news on local cable channels in the
Valley remained banned since 2010, when there were massive protest
during which more than 120 people, mostly youths, were killed in
security force and police firing in the Valley.
The authorities had also directed bureaucrats and other officers
not to participate in any political debate on local cable channels.

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