Jammu and Kashmir is back online. All internet services, including mobile and landline broadband have been resumed in the state following a three-day ban, which was imposed fearing trouble during Eid al-Adha. The widely criticised ban was lifted at around 10am on Monday, though landline broadband services started resuming 8pm, Sunday.
Although the restoration of vital internet services in the state comes as a relief, residents and opposition parties strongly condemned the government's decision.
"The irony of listening to Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi lecturing about connected digital India while we are totally disconnected. The PDP-BJP regime is pushing people of the state to the wall," Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah told PTI.
"He had promised to make the state like Gujarat. Now, I guess, we are competing with Gujarat as to who bans the Internet more," he added.
The businesses were largely affected by the 3-day internet ban. A businessman based in Jammu, Devinder Gupta, expressed his dismay and requested the government to extend the date for filing of IT return in the state.
"We have been in trouble during the last four days since we could not file our corporate Income Tax return during this period and the last date for doing the same is the 30th of this month," Business Standard quoted Gupta as saying.
The ban on internet services during Eid al-Adha lasting three days was imposed to maintain peace following the imposition of the 1982 beef ban law by the state high court earlier in the month. Therefore, separatist and religious groups have been fighting the ban as it strikes "interference in religious affairs" and said they would defy the court order.
"Suspension of internet services had become necessary to maintain peace and harmony in the state on the occasion of the Eid festival," a senior police officer told IANS in Jammu on Monday.