Jammu and Kashmir government has ordered suspension of internet services in the trouble-hit valley for a period of one month or till further orders. A decision which has been widely criticised by people who termed it a blatant act by the government to limit online communication.
In an order, the Home Department has directed all ISP's that "any message or class of messages to or from any persons or class of persons relating to any subject or any pictorial content through the following social networking sites shall not be transmitted in the Kashmir valley for a period of one month or till further orders.
As per the government directive, social networking sites to be suspended include Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, QQ, WeChat, Ozone, Tumblr, Google+, Baidu, Skype, Viber, Line, Snapchat, Pinterest, Telegram, Reditt, Snapfish, YouTube (Upload), Vine, Xanga and Flickr.
The state home department invoked powers conferred on it under Indian Telegraph Act and Information Technology Act to suspend the internet services, the officials said.
It was not immediately clear whether the order pertains to all internet services or just the mobile internet services, which are already suspended since April 17.
The mobile internet services in Kashmir were snapped last Monday following widespread student protests in the valley against alleged highhandedness of security forces.
The government has said that the continued misuse of social networking sites and instant messaging services are likely to be detrimental to the interests of peace and tranquility in the state.