J&K extends Internet ban till Jan. 8

‘Curbs on high speed connectivity acted as impediment to bid by militants to disturb peace’

The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Friday extended the ban on high-speed 4G mobile Internet up to January 8, saying “the restrictions on the high speed connectivity acted as an impediment to attempts” of the militants to disturb the District Development Council (DDC) polls.

“The successful conduct of the recently concluded elections, which witnessed participation by political parties across the spectrum and large scale turnout, has not gone down well with elements inimical to public peace and tranquillity, as apparent from the multiple incidents of hurling of grenades by the militants since the conclusion of the elections, targeting of the civilians, police personnel and security forces,” reads an order issued by the Jammu and Kashmir Home Department.

It noted that there were credible inputs about the presence of a large number of militants trying to infiltrate from across the border, as also evident from multiple instances of heavy shelling on the international border and the Line of Control to facilitate the same.

“The restrictions on the high speed mobile Internet connectivity have acted as an impediment to such attempts. Subsequently, the government ordered extension in the ban in all but Ganderbal and Udhampur district till January 8,” it reads.

The high-speed mobile Internet was stopped last year in August when the Centre ended Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. At present, only 2G Internet service is allowed on mobile phones.

2 injured in firing

Meanwhile, two army porters were injured in firing by the Pakistani Army along the Line of Control in Poonch district on Friday.

An official identified the injured porters as Mohammad Giyas, 32, and Altaf Hussain, 35, from Noor Kote. “They were injured as the Pakistan Army fired at the Bandi Post manned by Army’s 5 Rajput,” official said.

Militants trapped

The security forces have trapped a group of militants during a search operation in south Kashmir’s Shopian on Friday.

An official said the militants were encircled in Kanigam village in Shopian district. “There was an exchange of fire. The operation is on,” the police said.

Meanwhile, 2G Internet service was stopped in the district as a precautionary measure. Police sources said the family members of the trapped militants had been roped in “to provide them a chance to surrender.”

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