Professionals, students continue to suffer due mobile internet ban

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Newspoint Bureau
Srinagar, April 19
Professionals, particularly media persons and doctors besides students continued to suffer due to mobile internet ban in the Kashmir valley, where there was sudden spurt in the protests and violence after over 60 students of a college in Pulwama were injured in security force and police action last Saturday.
The authorities banned mobile internet immediately after the incident to as precautionary measure prevent any rumours.
The internet service of all Cellular companies, including Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) remained suspended for the past five days. However, broadband internet service of BSNL and other local service providers were functioning normally though with very low speed.
The authorities had directed all cellular companies to suspend mobile internet service in the valley to prevent spread of any rumour on social media. However, suspension of the facility hit professionals, media persons, students and others. Sale of newspapers has witnessed increase since ban on mobile internet. The mobile internet service was resumed only on April 13 in the valley after remaining suspended since April 8 midnight in view to prevent any rumours during bypolls in Srinagar and Anantnag Lok Sabha. Meanwhile, since violence hit Kashmir valley after the death of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) commander Burhan Wani on July 8 last year, the broadband internet and mobile phone service was 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 service for post-paid connections was restored on November 19 last year after a gag of about five months. Similarly, mobile internet service for prepaid connections was 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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