Patchy Internet irks netizens in Srinagar

Tarigami says ‘impacting students’

Patchy Internet service has irked local people in Srinagar, with many describing it as “an undeclared Internet curfew”. The CPI(M) termed the current Internet situation as “a return of painful memories of communication blockade imposed in Kashmir on August 5, 2019”.

Students and businessmen living in several pockets of the city in Srinagar are complaining of prolonged Internet shutdowns, especially late in the afternoon and in the evening hours.

Netizens living in Srinagar’s Nowhatta, Safakadal and Qamarwari areas also complained of irregular Internet services. The complaints started pouring in after the recent spike in militant attacks in the city in October, which left seven civilians dead in targeted attacks.

Police sources said the security agencies were regulating Internet speed and keeping an eye on multiple towers after “heightened activity by suspected Internet users”. The measure has been taken as a counter to contain growing militant attacks after sundown in the capital.

CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami accused the J&K administration of “shutting down Internet sporadically in several parts of Srinagar and other areas of the Valley”.

“It has once again brought back painful memories of communication blockade imposed in Kashmir on August 5, 2019, which was fully lifted after a year and a half. Reportedly Internet access is shut for most of the day in these areas and services resume mostly after 10 p.m. when they are least required. This has hugely impacted students, who are not able to attend their online classes as the Internet remains shut-down during day hours,” Mr. Tarigami said.

“The 2019 communication blockade led to huge economic losses and unemployment and cost the Kashmiri economy thousands of crores while thousands of people lost livelihood. The latest curbs on the Internet are bound to aggravate the situation,” he added.

The police, so far, have neither rejected the allegations nor issued any statement over the blockade issue.

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