Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government has ordered the suspension of internet services in the trouble-hit valley for a period of one month or till further orders.
This could be my last tweet.Govt bans twitter, whataapp, Facebook and all other social networking sites in Kashmir pic.twitter.com/IF6YJiHAf8
— Nazir Masoodi (@nazir_masoodi) April 26, 2017
According to an order signed by R.K. Goyal, principal secretary in Jammu and Kashmir’s home department, the social media networking ban will include restriction of access to 22 different services.
These include: Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Skype, Snapchat, Telegram, Reddit and a number of other instant messaging and networking applications.
The home department’s order appears to primarily rely on section 5 of the Indian Telegraph Act (1885) and the Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Rules 2007 – a decision that some experts say may be unconstitutional.
3/ I'd argue this is illegal: (1) s.5(2) of Telegraph Act may not be used for blocking of Internet services when s.69A of IT Act exists.
— Pranesh Prakash (@pranesh) April 26, 2017
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 move comes amidst disturbances in Kashmir, which the authorities believe are fanned through social media.
(With PTI inputs)