Authorities on Wedndesday removed ban on social media in Jammu and Kashmir, six months after restrictions were placed in the erstwhile state in the view of abrogation of Article 370. 

The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Wednesday allowed access to all web sites on 2G mobile data services and fixed line internet in the Union Territory till March 17 and also removed the ban on social media platforms.

“Finally, we can connect with the rest of the world without using virtual private networks (VPNs),” a Srinagar resident was quoted as saying by PTI.

“I do not know what has changed in the past few months that the government has lifted the ban. The ban in the first place was misplaced and unnecessary,” a software programmer said.

Iltija Mufti, daughter of PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, also took to her mother’s Twitter account to comment on the develpment. 

“Seems like J&K admin finally realised futility of ban on SM since Kashmiris circumvented it through VPNs. Simply became a cat & mouse chase where Kashmiris outwitted state apparatus i.e.Big Brother,” she tweeted. 

Mehbooba Mufti, a former chief minister of the estwhile state, has been under detention since August when the Centre abrogated the special status to the erstwhile state and bifurcated it into two union territories on August 5 last year.

Several other politicians, including father-son duo of Farooq and Umar Abdullah, have also been in custody under various laws. 

Earlier, the government had restored the internet in the Union Territory but only access to white-listed sites was allowed.

The internet users, however, resorted to utilising VPNs to access the blocked sites. 

Earlier,  as the service was restored for a week on January 25 and subsequently extended from time to time, after being snapped. 

Courtesy : DNA

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