GovernmentThe Jammu-Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society has documented the disruptive influence of the communications blockade, and its material cost on the Kashmiri population.
Srinagar: The communication and internet blockades imposed in Jammu and Kashmir are premised on a dubious, vague and evasive legal framework easily exploitable for authorities to inflict ‘collective punishment’ and ‘criminalise all forms of political interactions and mobilisation’ as ‘terrorist related’ and threats to ‘national security,’ a new report has observed.null
Internet services were cut off in J&K last year, ahead of the Centre reading down Article 370. The outages continue to be enforced intermittently, amid a total ban on 4G network in the former state. Only recently, the government restarted 4G on a ‘trial basis’ in two districts of J&K.
The comprehensive report documenting the vastness of internet blackout, its disruptive influence and material cost on the Kashmiri population was released by the Jammu-Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) on Tuesday. This is the first ever detailed report on internet shutdowns in J&K. According to InternetShutdowns.in, Kashmir accounts for nearly half of total 413 internet outages that India has seen since 2012. J&K saw 213 days of continued internet blackout from August 5, 2019 to March this year, when 2G services were restored.
The report observes that “the multi-faceted and targeted denial of digital rights is a systemic form of discrimination, digital repression and collective punishment of the region’s residents, particularly in light of India’s long history of political repression and atrocities. The promise of lasting peace, freedom and justice for the people of Jammu & Kashmir is inextricably tied to digital and human rights in the region.”