SC asks govt to review Internet shutdown in J&K: ‘Welcome direction, people are suffering’

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Journalists in Srinagar with laptops and placards demanding the restoration of Internet services. (Reuters/ File)

The Supreme Court’s directions to review the Internet shutdown in Kashmir has generated hope among the people that Internet connectivity will now be restored in the Valley. Broadband and mobile Internet in Kashmir has been suspended since August 5, when the government revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

“We welcome the ruling. People in the Valley are suffering because there is no Internet. Today, the economy is Internet-driven and there have been massive losses to all business sectors in the absence of Internet. I am sure the government will soon review the decision so that Internet is restored,” Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries Sheikh Ashiq told The Indian Express.

For students, who have been struggling to fill up forms for competitive exams online, the apex court’s directions have brought hope.

“With no Internet for the last five months, Kashmiris are living in the stone age. To fill my CMAT form, I had to wait for almost nine hours at Srinagar’s TRC centre where the government has set up Internet facility for students. The court’s direction is important because it has said that Internet cannot be suspended indefinitely. If Internet is restored, it will be a relief for everyone in Kashmir,” said Mohammed Izat, a student.

A Srinagar-based journalist told The Indian Express, “We have been demanding restoration of Internet to media houses because the work of journalists is suffering,” he said. Journalists are currently accessing Internet from the government-run media facility centre in Srinagar.