The Jammu and Kashmir region of India at the tumultuous border between India and Pakistan formally lost internet access on April 17th, 2017 (again). The most recent spat of internet bans started over a week ago and were officially slated to end after local elections on April 12th – something that only happened intermittently until the announcement of a complete internet block this morning. The Internet was officially cut on Monday April 17th to prevent social media coverage (and mainstream media coverage) of ongoing protests in the Anantnag, Bandipora, Baramulla, Pulwama, Kupwara, Kulgam, Pulwama, Shopian, and Srinagar districts. An official stated:
“Internet facilities on all appliances in the valley have been shut.”
Those that still have access to the Internet are desperately spreading the word before they lose access.
People. Do you remember the GPRS internet? That is what India has reduced #Kashmir to. (This tweet might not be sent).
— Burning Dezire. (@iam_zaid) April 17, 2017
Internet shut down in Jammu and Kashmir region of India amid protests, again
Protests have grown after an initial clash between students and Indian governmental security forces which left 50 students injured on Saturday. The location of the incident, Pulwama College, has since been taken over by security forces. Events like this have been a staple of the Jammu and Kashmir valley for years. The Indian government With each subsequent act of violence, whether it be the killing of a lawyer, a student, or an unnamed protester, control and censorship tighten around the region – and the inhabitants suffer.
— Dr Rita Pal (@dr_rita39) April 17, 2017
Loss of internet access is nothing new for the netizens of Jammu and Kashmir, and that is a sad fact. In 2016, the Jammu and Kashmir region had limited internet access for well over a month. Mobile internet access via prepaid plans was cut off for over 6 months. Internet access is a human right according to the United Nations. It is worth noting that India was one of 17 countries that voted against the Article 19 update to include Internet Access as a basic human right.