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Students, Doctors Worst-hit by Internet Shutdown in Kashmir; SC Orders Probe Into Restoration of 4G Services

An Indian paramilitary soldier stands guard as Kashmiri Muslims offer Friday prayers on a street outside a local mosque during curfew like restrictions in Srinagar. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)

An Indian paramilitary soldier stands guard as Kashmiri Muslims offer Friday prayers on a street outside a local mosque during curfew like restrictions in Srinagar. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)

The suspension of internet is causing great difficulties to the people especially students and health practitioners.

  • IANS Srinagar
  • Last Updated: May 11, 2020, 4:56 PM IST
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The apex court on Monday passed an order to set up a high powered committee to look into restoration of 4G services in Jammu and Kashmir even as the Valley is reeling under a mobile internet ban since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Riyaz Naikoo on May 6.

The suspension of internet is causing great difficulties to the people especially students and health practitioners.

For Showkat Ahmad, restrictions on mobile internet in Kashmir has ended all hopes of education. The class eight student at a government school in Srinagar missed most of the academic year due to lockdown after the revocation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019.

Work in schools which had barely resumed after seven months got disrupted again due to the lockdown in the wake of coronvirus.

Last month the teachers at his school started online classes through WhatsApp groups even as the internet speed was 2G. But the suspension of mobile internet altogether after Naikoo's death has made online classes ineffective.

"Last month school teachers created WhatsApp groups for online classes, the internet speed was slow but we managed. But now there is no mobile internet so there can be no online classes," Showkat said.

It's not just the students, the lack of internet connectivity has compounded the job of health practitioners who are at the front line in the battle against coronavirus.

Khawar Khan, a doctor based in Srinagar, said internet restriction is hampering the research work. "I cannot download the materials for my research which I am doing on coronavirus," he said. "I need to watch videos which I can't do that in absence of internet."

With no hope for resumption of High speed internet soon, people in Kashmir can only pray that at least the 2G netwrork is restored so that their difficulties are mitigated to some extent.


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