It was 8th July 2016, when Burhan Muzaffar Wani was killed in an encounter in South Kashmir and immediately the internet services were snapped across the Kashmir valley. Five months and 28 days have passed, but prepaid data services remain suspended. No one has any bleak idea that when the service will be restored. Although the broadband connections and postpaid services were restored in November 2016 but prepaid mobile data services continue to remain blocked.
Authorities may not have the exact idea that most of the data subscribers prefer prepaid services as prepaid connections are soft on pocket and subscribers have strict control on their data usage, therefore prepaid connections make a larger pie as compared to post paid connections.
Students, businessmen and job aspirants continue to suffer due to the ongoing ban on prepaid data services. The news desk of Brighter Kashmir receives at least 10-20 calls per day and callers inquire about the status of ban on prepaid internet services, but our team too has no answers to their questions. Though, the authorities for number of times have assured people that the ban on mobile internet will be lifted sooner or later but till today the assurances of authorities have proved be elusive.
Yesterday a student Ishfaq Ahmed while talking to Brighter Kashmir said that the continued blanket ban of internet service in Kashmir has doubled miseries of students, he said “I have missed many entrances exams for which I had dreamed of, due to continued blockade of internet service in Kashmir, I missed the opportunity to submit online forms for outside state colleges and it proved to be a major hurdle in my career”.
Apart from exams and grave concerns of students, we have seen that from last few years almost all the form submissions and recruitment process is being done through online route and since 9th of July 2016, job aspirants have faced a lot of hurdles due to internet ban.
Businessmen who have dependency on internet also have incurred huge losses due to the prolonged ban, but authorities seem to have closed their eyes and ears. Two days are left and the ban will complete 6 months but no one knows when the services will be resumed. Although our team contacted authorities to understand the future timeline of the ban but we couldn’t get a solid answer. The ban continues..