New Delhi: NITI Aayog member Vijay Kumar Saraswat on Saturday said justified internet ban in Jammu and Kashmir, saying that it was being used in the Valley for watching ‘dirty films,’ even as he said that the suspension of services there ‘did not have a significant impact on the economy.’ Also Read - Jammu & Kashmir: 153 Utility, Entertainment, Govt Websites Unblocked; No Social Media, News
Saraswat, a former chief of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was speaking on the sidelines of the annual Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Gandhinagar, where he was invited as the chief guest, a report in the Indian Express said. Also Read - Jammu and Kashmir: SMS, Voice Calls to be Restored For Prepaid Mobile Users a Week After SC Prod
Speaking to media, Saraswat said, “All those politicians who want to go to Kashmir, do you know why they want to go there? They want to bring to Kashmir the kind of protests that are currently taking place on the streets of Delhi. Social media is only used to add fuel to fire. So what difference does it make if no internet is there.” Also Read - 2G Internet, Broadband Services Restored in Jammu and Kashmir, But Only on Whitelisted Sites
“And what do you watch on internet there? What e-tailing is happening there? Besides watching dirty films, you do nothing there,” he added. He was responding to a question on why internet services had been suspended in the Valley if he thought telecom was key to India’s growth.
Clarifying his remark, he said, “What I want to say is that if there is no internet in Kashmir, it will not have a significant effect on the economy.”
He further said that there was a different reason for internet to be shut down in Jammu and Kashmir. He attributed the ban to the possibility of internet being misused by anti-social elements to create a law and order situation there in the wake of the abrogation of Article 370 last year.
On August 5 last year, the government abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution, thus revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir which was further bifurcated into two separate union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.