Is 4G internet being restored in J&K? Here’s what we know so far!

SRINAGAR: The confusion regarding restoration of high-speed mobile internet services in Jammu and Kashmir has prevailed, even as the internet restrictions were extended by the administration yesterday till April 03 after a review meeting.

It all started with a news report from a Kashmir based news agency (Kashmir News Service – KNS) on March 25 which claimed that 4G Internet services were ‘likely’ to restored within a week in the UT.

“Lt Governor G C Murmu along with Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary School Education is keen to start e-classes at earliest so that the students do not suffer. It was after this understanding that State (UT) government wrote to the Home Ministry regarding the restoration of 4G Internet services,” the report quoted a top Home Ministry official as having said.

Soon after the report, a fake order was doing rounds on social media. The fake document claimed that Jammu division was going to be relieved of high-speed mobile internet restrictions. However, J&K Government’s spokesman, Rohit Kansal dismissed the order as fake while saying that no such order was issued by the Home Department.

Interestingly, this irked the newly released former Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah. “If you are going to restore our 4G then please just go ahead & do it. Stop messing with our heads with these “orders” “fake orders” & “denials”. Why should we be made to feel like beggars for the restoration of basic services the rest of the nation take for granted?” he tweeted on his official handle.

After some time on the same day, another local news agency (Global News Service – GNS) came up with a news report. “We have directed the Chief Secretary of the UT and the 4G Internet services in Jammu and Kashmir will be restored shortly,” the report quoted Minister of State for Home, GoI, G Kishan Reddy as having said.

However, the GNS news report lost all its authenticity after a national news agency, Asian News International (ANI) rubbished the report by quoting MHA. The agency tweeted, “Neither the Ministry of Home Affairs nor the Government of Jammu and Kashmir has issued any such orders. The news report is not true: MHA on reports of 4G services restored in J&K.”

While reacting to ANI’s tweet, GNS published a note which read, “We regret that Minister of State for Home, Mr G Kishan Reddy has retracted from the statement regarding restoration of 4G Internet services.” The agency even played a “recording of the conversation” in which Mr Reddy said that 4G Internet is being restored and that directions have been issued to the J&K government in this regard.

Meanwhile, Mayor of Srinagar, Junaid Mattu also went ahead to elevate the already confused state of people concerning 4G mobile internet. “Good news about #4G restoration in Kashmir coming very soon. Will go a long way in helping in the current circumstances. Gratitude to the Administration and the Central Govt.”

With no restoration taking place, he was quick to add, “I have credible information to believe there is going to be positive headway on #4G very soon. I’d rather be a fool than a cynic. If it doesn’t happen – I’ll try MORE and KEEP trying till it happens. Cynicism is a luxury I can’t afford.”

After the review meeting concerning internet restrictions in J&K yesterday, it was decided that the high-speed mobile internet will remain suspended till April 03. The decision did clear the confusion to some extent, but the expectations stimulated by the local news agencies continue to haunt the residents of the UT, especially after the 21-day nationwide lockdown came into force.

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