Pre-paid SIMs to be verified for 4G

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 2/8/2021 1:04:57 AM

JAMMU, Feb 6: After 550 days, high-speed mobile internet was restored in all the districts of Jammu and Kashmir last midnight, albeit only on post-paid sims, not pre-paid ones.
An order passed by the Home Department of Government of Jammu & Kashmir on Friday said, "Keeping in view the advice of the Special Committee and upon careful review of overall security scenario, I, Principal Secretary to the Home Department hereby revoke the restrictions on mobile data services and fixed line internet connectivity placed vide Government Order dated January 22, 2021."
The Special Committee referred to in the order was constituted as per the directions of the Supreme Court in the case of Foundation for Media Professionals v. Union Territory of J&K to examine the issue of restoration of 4G services.
The restrictions on slow speed mobile internet were relaxed in two districts of Ganderbal and Udhampur on August 16, 2020.
However, in the latest order, the prepaid sim card holders will be provided access to internet connectivity only after verification as per norms applicable to postpaid connections, the order added.
“The pre-paid SIM card holders shall be provided access to the internet connectivity only after verification as per the norms applicable for post-paid connections,” reads an order issued by ShaleenKabra (IAS), Principal Secretary to the Government. It is not specified what the applicable norms are.
Interestingly some pre-paid mobile subscribers in Udhampur said that 4G had been working on their sims since August.
Meanwhile Internet Freedom Foundation Executive Director, Apar Gupta, in a statement said that the restoration of 4G internet access in Jammu and Kashmir is a welcome step. The statement said, “we commend the people there who have shown tremendous courage and dignity in this distressing period of deprivation and hopelessness. All of us here at IFF have each day kept you in our hearts, minds and work as we have represented clients including the Foundation for Media Professionals, the Indian Journalists Union and the Jammu and Kashmir Private Schools Association before the Hon’ble Supreme Court.”
It added, “This step would not have occurred without persistent efforts by a large team of activists, organisations, lawyers and senior advocates. Today, as we look forward with hope, much work remains to be accomplished. Our fundamental rights are inextricably linked with digital technologies and IFF commits to protecting them in an effective manner to advance our constitutional values of individual liberty, social justice and human welfare."



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