Kashmir: BSNL Broadband restored, mobile internet gag continues

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Srinagar, April 11
Broadband internet service of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) was restored this afternoon after remaining suspended for three days while the gag on mobile internet continued in Kashmir valley. However, broadband services provided by local operators, including CNS remained suspended.
Meanwhile, restoration of BSNL broadband internet service has brought some relief though majority of the people, particularly media, students and other professionals, living in the valley continued to suffer as they use mobile internet.
Internet service of all cellular companies, including BSNL, was suspended during the night intervening April 8 and 9 in the valley, where separatists had called for a general strike in protest against polling in Srinagar and Anantnag constituencies.
The authorities had asked all cellular companies to suspend internet service in the valley to prevent spread of any rumour on social media during polling.
However, suspension of the facility led to more rumours, leading to more protests and clashes.
Meanwhile, due to suspension of internet service, media organisation, including UNI and majority of national and international newspapers and other organizations, were hit badly. Media persons, working with national and international organizations, were forced to file their stories about Kashmir situation over the phone.
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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