Srinagar: In a relief for residents of Jammu and Kashmir, social media blockade was lifted in the region on Wednesday after seven long months. Residents are now able to access social media websites on their 2G mobile internet. However, the order, which still places certain restrictions on mobile internet services, is only valid till March 17, unless extended. Also Read - Jammu and Kashmir: SPO, Civilian Killed as Encounter Breaks Out Between Terrorists, Security Forces in Baramulla
“About mobile data services, the internet speed shall be restricted to 2G only. While the postpaid sim cardholders shall continue to be provided access to the internet, these services shall not be made available on prepaid sim cards unless verified as per the norms applicable for postpaid connections”, the order said. Also Read - Jammu and Kashmir Social Media Ban Lifted Till March 17: Access Websites on 2G Data, Says Govt
As soon as the ban was lifted, many residents took to social media to express their happiness and tweeted for the first time in a long time:
Iltija Mufti, the daughter of former J&K chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti, too tweeted and wrote, ”My mother last tweeted on 5th August post abrogation of Article 370. Today as I tweet for the first time from Kashmir post decriminalisation of social media, Im swept by saudade & painful nostalgia. Will we ever heal? When will this nightmare end?”
The ban on internet was imposed following the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5 last year. Notably, the internet shutdown in Kashmir was the longest such ban imposed by a democracy.