Freedom of expression in the state made hostage to whims of rulers: Harsh

Strongly condemning the continuous four day ban on internet services by the state govt., Harsh Dev Singh Chairman JKNPP and Former Minister today accused the govt. of covering up its administrative failures by blocking the internet and communication services in the state. He said that stopping the people from communicating with each other besides sharing information on the social media on the pretext of internet misuse by rumour mongers was ridiculous and only proved govt.’s imbecility administrative break down. He said that the law of the land provided ample powers to the govt. for dealing with mischief mongers and anti social elements and its was highly ludicrous and preposterous to deprive the entire populace from using the social networking sites, Facebook, Twitter or the Whatsapp. He said that the ban on internet was not only un-warranted and vexatious but also infringed the right to Freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19 of the constitution. Accusing the govt. of holding the fundamental right of Freedom of speech and expression of the people as hostage, Singh demanded due compensation to the Internet users for the losses sustained by them during the four days on account of blackout of said services. He said not only the official working suffered due to the said ban, but businessmen, bankers, ATM holders, Students besides private citizens had suffered irreparable losses without any justifiable reasons. He said that not only the local citizens but the lacs of pilgrims and tourists who visited the state during the said period faced immense hardships and inconvenience due to the quixotic order of the helmsmen. Singh regretted that govt. had made it a practice to ban internet services whenever it was faced with any challenging situation. He said that rather than facing the administrative challenges, the helmsmen had been frequently resorting to blacking out of such services thereby taking an escapist route at the cost of public convenience.

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