Internet in Kashmir will be restored as soon as the local administration feels it is fit to do so, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said in the Parliament today.
The unprecedented internet shutdown in Kashmir has already completed 100 days. Postpaid mobile phone connections and landline services, however, have been restored.
“A decision on resuming internet in Kashmir will be taken when local administration is convinced. There are activities by the neighbour country too in Kashmir region. So keeping security in mind, whenever the local authority deems it fit, a decision will be taken.” Shah said in the Rajya Sabha.
The home minister said that no person has died in Jammu and Kashmir in police firing since August 5 when the government abrogated Article 370 ending Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. The state has been split into two union territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
Telephone and internet services were suspended and public movement was restricted in the state hours before the centre’s big announced in August. Massive security restrictions were imposed in Jammu, politicians were taken into detention and extra troops were deployed to prevent any backlash.
“We heard leaders saying that there would be blood bath on the streets of Srinagar but nothing of this sort happened. I am happy that not one person has died due to police firing,” the Home Minister said.
He said all newspapers and TV channels are functioning in Kashmir and that there is no decline in circulation of newspapers. He also said the number of incidents of stone-throwing has come down from 805 to 544.
“I challenge Ghulam Nabi Azad sahab to counter these facts. I am willing to have a discussion on this issue,” Shah dared the opposition during the ongoing winter session.