Internet restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir will remain operative till March 4 as the state administration stated that "VPNs are being misused by anti-national elements including handlers from across the border to bypass the Internet restrictions".
"While assessing the impact of the directions relating to regulation of telecom services, issued from time to time, on the overall security scenario, it has come to fore that VPNs continue to be misused by ANEs, including handlers from across the border to bypass the internet restrictions, to coordinate with their operatives within the UT of J&K and plan terror acts and scale-up anti-national activities," read an official notification.
Principal Secretary Shaleen Kabra in a notification said that the mobile data services in some areas of the Kashmir Valley had to be suspended, although for limited periods or time, due to acts of terrorism over the last week and the' apprehension regarding disruption to the public order, with the larger aim of causing dissatisfaction and discontent against the state.
"After considering the available alternatives and subject to further review, I, Principal Secretary to the Government, Home Department, being satisfied that it is absolutely necessary so to do, in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the Security of the State and for maintaining public order, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of section 5 of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and sub-rule (1) of Rule 2 of the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017, hereby order that the directions/restrictions contained in Government Order No. 13(TSTS) of 2020 dated 15.02.2020 shall continue to remain operative till 4th March, 2020, unless modified earlier," the notification said.
"Further, the whitelisted sites shall be as per the annexure, with updation being a continuous process," it said.