Srinagar, April 12
Mobile internet remained suspended for the fourth day today in the Kashmir valley, where Broadband service of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has been resumed last evening after remaining banned from April 8 and 9 mid-night. Even though the Election Commission of India (ECI) has deferred polling in Anantnag parliamentary by-poll which was scheduled to be held today following violence in Srinagar Parliamentary constituency on April 9, when eight persons were killed and more than 200 others, including 150 paramilitary forces were injured.
The mobile and broadband internet service had been 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 asked all cellular companies to suspend their internet service in the valley to prevent spread of any rumour on Social Media during polling. However, suspension of the facility has led to more rumours, leading to more protests and clashes. Besides government curbs has badly affected functioning of media persons, working with national and international organizations who had to file their stories about Kashmir situation on phone. Ban on internet also hit professionals and students besides doctors.
Only broadband service of BSNL was resumed last evening, befitting only those who still have landline telephones.
However, majority people, including students, professionals, particularly media and doctors, remained worst hit since ban on mobile internet continued in the valley.
Authorities are imposing frequent ban on internet in the valley to prevent rumours though dozens of people, mostly youths, were booked or arrested for misusing the facility in the past.
Mobile service was also banned during the last summer unrest in the valley when about 100 people were killed and several thousand injured in security force and police action. However, despite ban separatists were issuing weekly or fortnightly protest calendars for strike and demonstrations.