In Kashmir, new year starts with internet shutdown in two districts

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The first day of 2021 has started with an internet blockade and a complete shutdown in Pulwama and Shopian district against the killing of three youth in Srinagar.

Three youths, two from Pulwama and one from Shopian, were killed in a gunfight at Lawaypora after which police said that the slain were militants.

The Pulwama and Shopian districts are said to be the epicenter of new-age militancy as most of the top commanders of different militant groups belonging to the twin districts.

After the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) commander Burhan Muzzafar Wani in 2016, whenever a militant belonging to Pulwama and Shopian districts are killed in a gunfight with government forces, the authorities snap-down internet services for many days to avoid law and order problem, while the districts observe complete shutdown.

Traders from twin districts said they have suffered huge losses since 2016 due to shutdowns but now frequent internet suspension has made things even more worse for them. “The frequent shutdowns and Internet gags have made the business system in Pulwama and Shopian miserable,” they said.

The frequent internet suspension in south Kashmir has also been irking the students, who in absence of classwork, are directly dependent on online classes.

Unnamed sources told a local news agency, Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that since last week of November, internet services were suspended twelve times in south Kashmir due to which business and student community is suffering a lot.

Aabid Hussain, a student of Central University said that due to frequent internet blockade he has missed all-important classes.

“This internet blockade creates a lot of impediments among the students who are enrolled in different colleges and universities in and outside J-K,” he said.

“When the world is about to get 5G services, why are we being even deprived of 2G services?” asked Mudasir Ahmad, a resident of Pulwama. “If the government claims that everything is normal here, then why internet services are snapped so frequently.”

“We request authorities that think about the suffering of student and business community before snapping down internet services,” locals said. —(KNO)

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