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Internet Services to Be Partially Restored in Jammu and Kashmir Today

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Internet services will be partially restored in Jammu and Kashmir from Wednesday.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Jammu and Kashmir administration issued orders to partially allow 2G mobile connectivity on postpaid mobiles in the Union Territory from January 15 for accessing white-listed sites in five districts of Jammu region– Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Udhampur and Reasi.

According to the order issued by the Jammu and Kashmir Home Department, the Kashmir division will establish an additional 400 internet kiosks.

"Internet service providers (ISP – BSNL/private service providers) to provide broadband facility (with (Mac-binding) to all the institutions dealing with essential services, hospitals, banks, etc. and also government offices and in order to facilitate tourism, to hotels, and tour and travel establishments," the order read.

"Prior to giving such facility, the ISPs shall install necessary firewalls and carry out white-listing of sites that would enable access to government websites and websites dealing with essential services including e-banking, excluding, however, all the social media sites," the order read.

"The aforesaid directions shall be effective from January 15, 2020, and remain in force for a period of seven days, unless modified earlier. These shall supersede all the orders earlier issued on the subject," it added.

The order said that the institutions and government offices being provided internet access will be responsible to prevent any misuse.

"While the mobile internet activity of all kinds has been suspended in Jammu and Kashmir. However, internet through fixed-line broadband facility exists in Jammu division while in Kashmir division, to facilitate the general public and students," it said.

The order came days after the Supreme Court, on January 10, directed to review all orders suspending internet services in Jammu and Kashmir and stated that the "right to access the internet is a fundamental right under Article 19 of the constitution".

The Central government had suspended the internet in the region following the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, which conferred special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated it into two Union Territories — Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.

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