Srinagar, Feb 12: The high speed internet and broadband service remained suspended in Kashmir valley since August 5, when the Centre scrapped Article 370 and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories (UTs).
Expressing concern over the use of VPN apps by people, particularly militants, Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh said stern action would be taken against those who would be found indulging in such illegal activities.
The 2G service of all cellular companies, which was suspended on Tuesday morning as precautionary measure to prevent rumours following strike called by separatists on the death anniversary of JKLF founder Mohammad Maqbool Bhat, was restored last evening.
Bhat was hanged in Delhi’s Tihar jail on this date in 1984. JKLF has been banned and its chief Mohammad Yaseen Malik and several other leaders are under detention for the past few years. A case has been registered against the front for issuing strike call.
The high speed internet and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) broadband remained suspended in Kashmir, badly affecting students, media persons and professionals, besides traders who continued to suffer though authorities on January 25 restored 2G mobile internet after over 170 days in the valley.
However, people alleged that 2G internet hardly makes any difference as they are unable to even check their mails as the speed is very low. The users said no site, including the white-listed sites, could be opened as the government had announced that only 300 white-listed sites in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir could be accessed from January 25, though social media sites remained blocked.
People, particularly media persons, doctors, students and other professionals continued to suffer as broadband and high speed mobile internet service remained suspended since August 5, when all communication networks were snapped in Jammu and Kashmir and UT Ladakh.
Meanwhile, media persons and other professionals and students alleged that restoration of 2G mobile service has hardly helped them as they cannot have access to any site despite repeated attempts.
DGP Singh said yesterday the use of VPN by the customers after the resumption of 2G was a big challenge for authorities. Stern action would be taken against all those who would be found using VPN, he said.
Mr Singh on February 5 had said that the truck driver who was carrying three militants from Jammu to Srinagar was in touch with Pakistan and PoK handlers through VPN. 'He and militants were in touch with Pak and PoK when the truck was intercepted,' Mr Singh said.
He said all the three militants were killed and the driver and conductor of the truck were arrested. A local courier service e.com express employee said that after the suspension of the internet, they lost all business. 'There were 25 employees working in the courier service before August 5 and now we are just two to remain in office without any work,' Mushtaq Ahmad said. (UNI)