Social Networking sites blacked out in Kashmir Valley for one month

With Social Networking sites shut down for a month, the J&K government hopes to assert control in South Kashmir valley.

With Social Networking sites shut down for a month, the J&K government hopes to assert control in South Kashmir valley.
With Social Networking sites shut down for a month, the J&K government hopes to assert control in South Kashmir valley. Photo courtesy @ahmedalifayyaz

Lawlessness at peak in South Kashmir, video of heavily armed militants parading in jungles goes viral

Tired of countering malicious propaganda on various social networking sites Mehbooba Mufti led alliance government in Jammu and Kashmir Wednesday directed internet service providers (ISP’s) to block some of these famous platforms for a period of at least one month across Kashmir valley.

The recommendation to block these social networking sites was earlier discussed at a high level Unified headquarters meeting on Tuesday. The meeting was chaired by Chief Minister in Srinagar to prepare a counter strategy to deal with stone pelters and increasing number of targeted militant strikes across South Kashmir.

During the meeting it was also observed by senior officers that a trend has been witnessed in regard to misuse of social media by the elements inimical to public order and tranquillity.

According to a three page order issued by the state Home department has directed all Internet service providers (ISP’s) that “any message or class of messages to or from any persons or class of persons relating to any subject or any pictorial content through the following social networking sites shall not be transmitted in the Kashmir valley for a period of one month or till further orders”.

The video, according to security experts, was shot recently in thick jungles of South Kashmir.

As per the government directive, social networking sites to be suspended include Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, QQ, WeChat, Ozone, Tumblr, Google+, Baidu, Skype, Viber, Line, Snapchat, Pinterest, Telegram, Reditt, Snapfish, YouTube (Upload), Vine, Xanga and Flickr.

The state home department invoked powers conferred on it under Indian Telegraph Act and Information Technology Act to suspend the internet services.

It was not immediately clear whether the order pertains to all internet services or just the mobile internet services, which are already suspended since April 17.

A similar trend was witnessed during long period of unrest in Kashmir valley in 2016 in the aftermath of killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.

The mobile internet services in the Valley were earlier snapped after sporadic protests were triggered in the aftermath of injuries caused to over 50 students inside Pulwama degree college.

Heavily armed militants roam freely in South Kashmir jungles?

A video clip showcasing heavily armed group of militants also went viral on a day when the state govt actually decided to suspend these services to prevent anti-national propaganda in a hostile environment across Kashmir valley.

The video, according to security experts, was shot recently in thick jungles of South Kashmir.

According to senior Kashmir based journalists this is for the first time a group of 30 newly recruited militants have been seen together parading out in the open with their automatic rifles.

Former Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani had first exploited the social media to gain popularity. Wani had also shot different vidoes and used to upload them on soical networking sites to spread terror and challenge security forces.

After his killing last year this is for the first time a group of 30 armed militants have surfaced in public domain.

PAK FLAG HOISTED ATOP PULWAMA DEGREE COLLEGE

Despite closing down educational institutes for several days the state government has failed to contain boiling anger among student community against the high handedness of security forces. Last week when security forces had entered the premises of Pulwama degree college over 50 students were injured in day long incidents of stone pelting.

Lt General J S Sandhu, Commander of Srinagar-based Corps which looks after security of the Kashmir valley, expressed concern over the number of videos of militants being circulated on the social media and the rise in militancy- related incidents in the valley.

Since then students anger is spilling on to the streets of different parts of kashmir valley. On Wednesday soon after college was thrown open large number of students boycotted their classes in Pulwama and staged protest demonstrations chanting slogans of ‘Azadi’. Later, a group of students climbed administrative block and hoisted Pakistani flag amid loud sloganeering.

Army will have to kill militants: Lt Gen JS Sandhu

The army will have to kill militants and will do so but there is no intent to harm civilians, a top commander said today and sought cooperation of the people in restoring peace in Kashmir where the situation is “grim”.

Lt General J S Sandhu, Commander of Srinagar-based Corps which looks after security of the Kashmir valley, expressed concern over the number of videos of militants being circulated on the social media and the rise in militancy- related incidents in the valley.

He said the situation in Kashmir was “grim” but the valley has to be taken out of such a situation towards peace and prosperity.

“It is a matter of concern, but I want to assure you that for the last few months, we have been taking action against the militants to a great deal and we will continue doing so…

We will continue action against the militants here,” he said while talking to reporters at the end of a two-day youth festival ‘Jashn-e-Baramulla’.

Communication blockade will play havoc: Dr. Farooq Abdullah

Reacting sharply to the ban on the internet, former chief minister Farooq Abdullah, said that the communication blockade will play havoc with J&K’s economy and students’ future. He alleged that the PDP-BJP government is persecuting people politically and economically alike.

He (Omar Abdullah) alleged that the state government was not only suppressing the people through “brute force” but was also “persecuting” them economically.
“The blockade would play havoc with the State’s economy and in turn rendering thousands of youth unemployed,” he asserted.

He alleged that the state government was not only suppressing the people through “brute force” but was also “persecuting” them economically.

“It will seriously affect our businesses and especially youth-oriented new start-ups in the e-commerce sector that depend primarily on internet accessibility and penetration. This will in turn lead to an increase in unemployment as the private sector especially the tourism sector will be severely hit,” he said.

“Using such measures to suppress dissent against a deeply unpopular government is as futile an exercise as that government continuing to be in power despite being rejected by the people of the State”, Abdullah added.

Copy of the order shutting down Social Media sites

Page 1 of the Govt. order on shutting down Social Media sites
Page 2 of the Govt. order on shutting down Social Media sites
Page 3 of the Govt. order on shutting down Social Media sites

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