Jammu & Kashmir: Mobile Phone, SMS Services Suspended in Valley on Republic Day, Internet Remains Clamped Down
File image of security forces in Jammu and Kashmir (Photo Credits: IANS)

Srinagar, January 26: Hours after once again snapping internet connections in Jammu & Kashmir, the administration also blocked mobile phone and SMS services. The restrictive measure was imposed on Sunday, when Republic Day 2020 was being celebrated across the nation. The fresh set of prohibitions came barely a day after internet facility was partially restored in the Valley. Netflix, Amazon, Hotstar Feature in 'Whitelist' Category of MHA Circular for Internet Access.

While it was not clear what had triggered the authorities to reimpose the restrictions, the curtailment could had been aimed at preventing anti-India demonstrations on Republic Day. The separatist leadership had, on earlier occasions of Republic Day and Independence Day, staged protest marches in several parts of the erstwhile state.

Internet services were revoked in Kashmir last night, only hours after 2G and broadband services were restored in the Valley. The government, even while granting internet access, has also restricted the use of social media sites to prevent the circulation of rumours and mobilisation of protesters.

The communication blockade in J&K was imposed since August 5, hours before the Centre had issued an executive order to abrogate Article 370 of Indian Constitution -- which guaranteed semi-autonomous status to the conflicted region. The blockade was gradually lifted by the government, but the embargo on full internet access continues to remain.

The curbs on landline phones were lifted in September, followed by resumption of postpaid mobile phones in October. SMS and prepaid services were restored in early January, whereas, the internet connection was resumed in Jammu a week ago. In Kashmir Valley, the resumption of net services were announced from Saturday.