Days after 4G mobile internet services were restored in Jammu and Kashmir, the government is preparing to take a group of diplomats to visit the Union Territory.
According to a report by the Hindu, in an effort to showcase the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the Centre is planning to take a group of foreign envoys for a two-day visit. The visit, which is being planned in the next few weeks, will include about 20 envoys and diplomats from different countries, including the European Union.
During the visit, the group of foreign envoys are expected to meet government officials, newly-elected local District Development Council (DDC) representatives, business chambers and members of civil society.
This will be third such visit of foreign envoys to the Union Territory in the last one year. India had taken a group of foreign envoys in January 2020, and another group in February 2020.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration on February 5 announced the restoration of high-speed mobile internet services in the entire union territory, 18 months after they were snapped in the erstwhile state following the Centre's abrogation of its special constitutional status.
The announcement about the restoration of high-speed mobile internet came through a tweet by Jammu and Kashmir administration spokesperson and Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal. "4G mobile internet services being restored in entire JK,” Kansal had posted on the micro-blogging site.
The internet was completely shut down in the erstwhile state on August 5, 2019 when the government announced the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution and also its bifurcation into two union territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
Later, 2G services were restored on January 25 last year and 4G services on mobile devices in Ganderbal in Kashmir division and Udhampur in Jammu region were re-started in August 2020.
This was done after the Centre had informed the Supreme Court that a special committee looking into the matter was considering allowing the facility on a trial basis in two of the 20 districts of the union territory.
The high-speed internet was restricted to only post-paid subscribers while pre-paid customers could enjoy the benefit of the services only after completing the verification process. The 2G internet facility on mobile phones was restored on January 25.
The apex court is also hearing a plea by an NGO seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against the Union Home Secretary and the Chief Secretary of JK for their alleged "wilful disobedience" in complying with the court's May 11 order which had directed for constituting a committee that would go into the possibilities of restoring high-speed internet in the union territory.
While extending the last ban on mobile internet on January 21, the home department had said that restrictions have been placed "in view of well-founded apprehensions about the dissemination of inflammatory and seditious propaganda material".
(With inputs from PTI)