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Opening of Communications in J & K

Published Jan 24, 2020
Updated Feb 24, 2020

Gradual opening up of the political and communications space in Jammu and Kashmir is now being taken up with a sense of urgency.

With the opening of mobile communications and sms internet kiosks are being established for connectivity with regular monitoring of the inflow and outflow that is happening to keep a tag of those using the internet.

Opening of personal networks may be some way off. Supreme Court of India ruling on 10 January that access to the internet is included under Art. 19 (1)(A) of the constitution, the next steps could be a direction to restore political activity as five months after repealing of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, release of detained political leaders in Kashmir is assuming importance.

Terror outfits are using encrypted mobile communications and Voice on Internet Protocol (VoIP) to plan infiltrations into India and reactivate their cadre in Kashmir, the Jammu and Kashmir government. Government spokesman Rohit Kansal told reporters, “Sustained efforts are being made by terrorists to infiltrate from across the border, reactivate their cadre and scale up anti-national activities not only in the Kashmir division but also in some areas of the Jammu division by using Voice on Internet Protocol and encrypted mobile communications, and through various social media applications to coordinate and plan terrorist activities,” he said.

Kansal said. “Landline and mobile telephones, SMS facilities have been made fully functional. Fixed-line broadband facility exists in the Jammu division while in the Kashmir Division, to facilitate the general public, students, etc, 844 e-terminals have been established, besides 69 special counters for tourists, apart from separate terminals for filling GST returns and application forms for various examinations,” he said. Kansal is principal secretary, planning and development, in the Union territory administration

The government was working out a deal where MP and National Conference chairman Farooq Abdullah and his son, MLA and former J&K CM Omar Abdullah, would be released from detention in exchange for their promise that they would take a break from active politics for a while may now be coming true if the report that he is to be released from detention is to be believed.