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World India to lift lengthy internet clampdown in Kashmir: official

23:00  05 february  2021
23:00  05 february  2021 Source:   afp.com

‘A ghost that haunts’: Living with landmines in Kashmir

  ‘A ghost that haunts’: Living with landmines in Kashmir For those living along Kashmir’s Line of Control, landmines destroy lives and livelihoods.Twenty years ago locals it was standard but informal practice in parts of Indian-administered Kashmir for the army to select young men from nearby villages for night patrol along the 734km LoC, to keep watch for “infiltrators” from the other side of the border. For this, Yaqoob says he and other men from his village did not receive any training, pay or compensation.

Authorities in Indian-administered Kashmir said Friday they would restore high-speed web access in the region, bringing to an end what rights groups have called one of the world's longest internet clampdowns.

a person standing in front of a window: Internet speeds appeared to jump shortly before midnight in restive Kashmir © Tauseef MUSTAFA Internet speeds appeared to jump shortly before midnight in restive Kashmir

New Delhi imposed a communications shutdown on August 5, 2019 in restive Kashmir to quell unrest after it revoked the region's semi-autonomy and brought it under direct rule.

Access to slow, 2G internet for mobile and fixed-line subscribers was restored in March 2020, but high-speed 4G access remained blocked.

Two killed in bombing at pro-Kashmir rally in Pakistan

  Two killed in bombing at pro-Kashmir rally in Pakistan At least two people were killed and two wounded when a bomb exploded during a pro-Kashmir rally in Pakistan's southwest on Friday. The demonstration was held to mark Kashmir Solidarity Day, observed across Pakistan every February 5 in support of those living in Muslim-majority and Indian-administered Kashmir. Friday's bombing took place in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, near the border with Afghanistan. "The timed-device wasThe demonstration was held to mark Kashmir Solidarity Day, observed across Pakistan every February 5 in support of those living in Muslim-majority and Indian-administered Kashmir.

Authorities then issued fortnightly orders restricting mobile data speeds, with the latest rolling ban due to expire on Saturday.

"4G mobile internet services being restored in entire J&K," Rohit Kansal, a spokesman for the Jammu & Kashmir territory, tweeted late Friday.

No further details were released, but an AFP journalist in Kashmir's main city of Srinagar reported a jump in mobile internet speeds just before midnight local time.

The 4G announcement follows international scrutiny on internet blackouts around India's capital New Delhi, where farmers protesting new agriculture laws have been camping out for more than two months.

Pop superstar Rihanna and climate activist Greta Thunberg tweeted a link to a news story about the blackouts and commented on the protests Tuesday, triggering a furious response from the foreign ministry which slammed the "sensationalist" social media comments.

The Indian government and its supporters are attacking Western celebrities for supporting the farmers' protests

  The Indian government and its supporters are attacking Western celebrities for supporting the farmers' protests India's government has slammed Western celebrities for backing the farmers protesting in New Delhi. Farmers say the government's proposed reforms to agricultural laws will leave them poorer. Pro-government crowds burned photos of Rihanna and Greta Thunberg on Thursday. Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories. The Indian government has launched an attack on Western celebrities, with some supporters burning their photos, for publicly supporting mass protests by farmers.

In Kashmir, officials had said internet restrictions were needed to clamp down on protests and prevent armed rebels -- who have been challenging Indian rule since 1989 in fighting that has killed tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians -- from launching attacks on government forces.

Apart from the shutdown, authorities often cut access to mobile internet services in parts of the region, fearing unrest or during gun battles between rebels and Indian soldiers.

India -- the world's biggest democracy -- restricted internet access more often than any other country in 2020, imposing over 75 blackouts, many in Kashmir, according to British virtual private networks review site Top10VPN.com.

Human Rights Watch last year called for full internet access to be restored in Kashmir, saying it had badly affected businesses, students' access to education and medical services during the coronavirus pandemic.

pzb/grk/wat

India cuts internet to hunger-striking farmers .
Tensions are rising in Delhi where thousands of farmers are demanding agriculture reforms be repealed.The government said the shutdown would continue until Sunday night to "maintain public safety".

usr: 0
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