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J&K: Amid unrest, access to social networking sites blocked in Valley for a month

The Jammu and Kashmir government on Wednesday ordered a ban on social networking sites in the Valley for one month.

India TV News Desk, Srinagar [Published on:26 Apr 2017, 6:34 PM IST]
Amid unrest, access to social networking sites blocked in
Amid unrest, access to social networking sites blocked in Kashmir for a monthPhoto:PTI

The Jammu and Kashmir government on Wednesday ordered the suspension of Internet services for social networking sites in the Valley for one month.

The Home Department issued the order to this effect in exercise of powers conferred under the Indian Telegraph Act.

"...in the interests of maintenance of public order, the Government, in exercise of powers conferred by sub-section (2) of section 5 of the India Telegraph Act, 1885 read with the Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Rules, 2007 hereby direct all Internet Service Providers (ISPs), that any messages or class of messages to or from any person or class of persons relating to any subject or any pictorial content through the following social networking sites shall not be transpired in the Kashmir Valley, with immediate effect, for a period of one month or till further orders, whichever is earlier,"  the order reads.

In total, 22 social networking websites have been blocked in the Kashmir valley. 

The websites which are blocked under the order are: Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, QQ, WeChat, Qzone, Tumblr, Google+, Baidu, Skype, Viber, Line, Snapchat, Pinterest, Telegram, Reddit, Snapfish, YouTube (upload), Vine, Xanga, Buzznet and Flicker. 

Mobile Internet services have remained suspended since April 19 following widespread student unrest in the Valley.

Authorities had also blocked over 300 WhatsApp groups that, the government said, had been spreading rumours to stoke passions among the youth during the volatile situation in Kashmir.

Interestingly, Wednesday's executive order did not mention whether the suspension order would be applicable to only mobile Internet services or also include fixed line broadband connections that are still working in the Valley.