Srinagar, April 13
Internet service of all cellular companies, including Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) Broadband, was against snapped today, when re-polling is underway at 38 polling stations in Budgam in Srinagar parliamentary constituency.
Meanwhile, mobile internet service remained suspended for the fifth day in Kashmir valley.
The authorities have asked all cellular companies to suspend broadband 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.
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.
But, authorities resumed broadband internet service of BSNL on April 11 after Election Commission of India (ECI) deferred the bypoll in Anantnag parliamentary constituency, which was scheduled on April 12, in view of violence that left eight youth dead and 150 others injured, including 100 security force personnel. The ECI also announced repoll at 38 violence hit polling station in Budgam in Srinagar Lok Sabha seat today following which the broadband was again suspended. Meanwhile, due to suspension of internet service, media organisation, including UNI and majority of national and international newspapers and other organizations, have again been hit badly. Media persons, working with national and international organizations, have been 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.