Kupwara/Kasmir,December 24,2019 : After the Centre abrogated Article 370 and divided Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories and now the Muslim-majority region is facing a communication blackout since Aug. 5.
Journalists from district Kupwara described the blockade of the internet and pre-paid mobile phones as a ‘gag’ on their functioning and demanded the district administration kupwara for media centre and the government to restore internet and pre-paid mobile.
Wasim Majnoon Mir a journalists said, “We are unable to cover assignments due to the prevailing communication gag imposed by the government. In absence of internet and broadband services, the local newspapers published from Kupwara have not been able to upload their internet editions or update the news on the web-portals”.
“It has been an onerous task to send our stories,” he said.
Amin Masoodi a senior Journalist said, “For the last 140 Days pre-paid mobile phones and internet services have been shut down in the Valley.” The government has said they will restore broadband internet services; however, no word is coming in on when broadband would be started.
The government has started internet at NIC kupwara, but only a few computers have internet facility and a rush of students were seen, it’s not possible for media persons to work there.
“The communications blockade has indeed adversely affected the ground reporting. In the absence of internet and pre-paid mobile phones, journalists are finding it difficult to verify and cross-check information,” he said.
Journalists representing national and international media are dependent on the government’s media facilitation center in Srinagar, which has an internet, but no Wi-Fi access and its far from district kupwara, we have to spend more than one thousand rupees to reach this centre every day located 100 kilometers away from this frontier district, Journalist said.