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Home Ministry Replies on the Status of Internet Access and Continuing Detentions in J & K

Home Ministry Replies on the Status of Internet Access and Continuing Detentions in J & K
The Public Safety Act, 1978 is a state specific-law that permits the detention of individuals without trial for up to 12 months if the detention is ordered in the ground of maintenance of public order and 2 years if it is in the ground of prejudice to the security of the state. This act was brought in to prevent smuggling cases and keep smugglers in prison without trials. Though this act is quite similar to the National Security Act, 1980 with the involvement of the national security agencies, this act is being implemented now to detain any person be it political or non-political in custody without trials for at least 12months if found suspicious as a national threat.

The UT of Jammu and Kashmir was subjected to internet shut down since august 2019 following the government's order as the actions happening around the UT were being considered as a threat to the public. On being questions raised, the government explained internet shutdown and temporary lockdown in the UT was quite necessary for safety purposes.

Congress leader and MP Rahul Gandhi has raised several questions regarding the details of political personnel detainees and detail information about 4G network restoration in the UT. Responding to such questions, Shri G. Kishan Reddy of the Ministry of Home Affairs stated that as by September 11, 2020, around 223 persons are in detention under the Public Safety Act followed by the government to maintain a disciplinary administrative order in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It was also stated that the shutdown was imposed for a limited period by following all the procedures mentioned by the adherence and principles of the Hon’ble Supreme Court. 

Replying to the question regarding the restoration of the 4G network the Ministry of Home Affairs further explained that internet services as well as mobile data (2G) services have been restored in Kashmir since January 2020. Along with such the restrictions on the use of social media have been lifted since March 2020. The Ministry further added that high-speed mobile data services have been restored in the districts of Ganderbal and Udhampur since august 2020. The Ministry also explained that there has not been much loss caused by the restrictions of using internet services as students were able to attempt the online classes and people were getting medical and all types of aided facilities during the pandemic situations. Though only the economic activities in the UT have suffered loss caused by such. 


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