SRINAGAR — The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Tuesday said that its response to the demand for restoration of high-speed Internet services in Jammu and Kashmir is much “calibrated” and the Internet services in the UT are being upgraded according to the needs.
It, however, added that the final call will be taken by the government of J&K UT after assessing the situation on ground and getting security clearance of all concerned.
Talking exclusively over phone from New Delhi, K Vijay Kumar, who was Advisor to the former Governor in J&K Satya Pal Malik, and is now Senior Security Advisor in the MHA on J&K Affairs and Left-wing Extremism, said: “Our response to the issue (restoration of 4G services) is steadily calibrated. Internet services are being upgraded according to the needs,” he said.
“They (Govt in J&K UT) have to look at various parameters like society, environment, situation to lower down restrictions,” he said, adding that the J&K UT government is taking certain steps for lifting curbs like releasing detainees.
Kumar suggested to talk to Home Secretary as he was not directly linked to comment on the issue.
The high-speed Internet services were snapped across J&K prior to the GoI’s announcement on August 5 last year in the wake of roll back of J&K’s special status and slicing of erstwhile State into two UTs—J&K and Ladakh.
Of late, at a time when J&K is under tight grip of fear triggered by the pandemic of COVID-19 with Kashmir witnessing one positive case and Jammu three, the demand for restoration of 4G services has gone shriller with even top officials from the government demanding it as a means to know various methods being adopted by the global community to fight the Coronavirus.
Last week, when National Conference patron Dr Farooq Abdullah was released after J&K government revoked his PSA detention, he too demanded restoration of 4G services. Today, when J&K government released his son and former chief minister Omar Abdullah after 232 days, he also vociferously sought restoration of 4G services for learning the means to fight COVID-19. Earlier, Srinagar Municipal Corporation’s Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu too had urged government to restore high-speed Internet services.
Top officials from the police and administration had been maintaining that if high-speed Internet would be restored, there were apprehensions that vested interests and anti-peace elements both within the UT and across the LoC would utilize it to foment trouble in J&K by spreading radicalization campaign and fake propaganda.