‘4G internet services would not pose any problem’, JK Govt to Home Ministry
Srinagar: In a new turn, the government of newly state-turned-UT has informed Union Home Ministry The Union Territory that it did not have any objection in restoring high speed internet services in Jammu and Kashmir.
Internet services were shut down in Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019 along with telephone services ahead of the abrogation of Article 370.
Though limited landline, mobile and internet services were restored earlier this year, 4G services was not.
“We have been making (a) representation for this… I feel that 4G will not be a problem. I am not afraid how people will use this. Pakistan will do its propaganda, whether it is 2G or 4G. It will always be there… But I don’t see an issue,” Lieutenant Governor G C Murmu was quoted as saying by TSE.
In an affidavit filed earlier this week, in response to contempt petition against the Jammu and Kashmir administration, the MHA said: “Based on a considered and wide-ranging assessment of the prevailing situation in this sensitive region, the committee arrived at a decision that no further relaxation of restrictions on internet services, including 4G services, could be carried out at present.”
The MHA said the next review by the special panel will be carried out after two months
Internet speed has been restricted in Jammu and Kashmir for several months. The last order was issued on April 27 extending the restrictions till May 11.
Three petitioners, including the Foundation for Media Professionals and Private Schools Association of Jammu and Kashmir, had challenged the orders restricting the internet speed.
They had contended that 2G internet speed was not enough for access to online education and healthcare services during the COVID-19 lockdown.
To another question on the J&K Information Department’s Media Policy 2020, which empowers the DIPR (Department of Information and Public Relations) to examine media content for fake news, plagiarism and unethical or anti-national activities, Lt Governor Murmu told TSE that, “I will check this, this is not required. There are relevant IPC/ CrPC and other laws for this.”
“Advertisements were given only to print and local media – patronage. People haven’t done anything for electronic and social media,” he said.
He emphasised that other things in the policy were normal. “If you see the government of India or other states’, the accreditation policy depends on circulation, readership, etc. The policy follows the same things… there is nothing discriminatory,” he said.
The Lieutenant Governor said that the DIPR did not have the capacity to decide whether a news is “anti-national.”
“I have already told the Information Department to re-check all this,” Murmu was quoted as saying.