Party’s spokesman Altaf Thakur calls it a deviation from the official stand
Srinagar, Kashmir —
Manzoor Bhat, Media Advisor to Bhartiya Janata Party (J&K) has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to restore high-speed 4G internet in Jammu and Kashmir.
The letter, which is one more attempt from the local politicians to express concern against the restrictions on high-speed mobile internet, was also shared on the Twitter handle of Manzoor Bhat.
“As you are aware of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis in India including Jammu and Kashmir, there has been a tremendous increase in positive cases in the region since the past few days. Due to the prevailing situation, it seems lockdown may be further extended,” Bhat writes in the letter.
He further says, “People of Kashmir has always supported and appreciated your efforts to combat COVID-19. Kashmir has always got special space in your heart and you have always spoken on their behalf. I urge your good self to restore high-speed internet service in J&K, as students’ community is suffering from the crumbling 2G internet speed. The (students) have already lost 6-7 academic months now they are also confined to their homes with low internet speed.”
“The 2G internet service has made difficult for them to access the online classes. However, students in other states have switched to online class but it seems it is injustice with students of J&K. I would, therefore, request your good self to restore high-speed internet service in the J&K as it is need of the hour,” he adds.
However, when we contacted the Bharatiya Janata Party’s spokesman, Altaf Thakur, he said that this is not the party’s official line. Altaf said, “At the moment, we are least concerned about 4G internet. Instead, we want to ensure the presence of things like ventilators, COVID test kits and an adequate supply of medicines.”
He further said that Manzoor Bhat is the party’s ‘Media Secretary’ and this letter has been written in his personal capacity and doesn’t conform to the party’s stand.
Pertinently, the restrictions on high-speed internet in Jammu and Kashmir completed eight months on Sunday as the erstwhile State faced a communication blackout after Central government revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 05, last year.
Although landline connectivity was restored a few weeks after the decision on Article 370, mobile phones started to work after over 70 long days. Later, low-speed internet was resumed after six months, but the curbs on high-speed internet continue till this day in the UT.