J&K Govt invokes Indian Telegraph Act Bans Social Networking sites in Kashmir Valley


Srinagar, April 26: The state Home department headed by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has ordered ban on internet services in Kashmir Valley for one month, sources said.

“Internet services in Kashmir Valley shall not be permitted to be transmitted for a period of one month,” reads a Home department order issued on Wednesday.

   Pertinently, internet mobile services are already suspended in Kashmir valley.

     The Government order vide number 476 of 2017 – reads: “Whereas, as per available inputs over a period of time, a progressively increasing trend has been witnessed with regard to misuse of Social Media, like Facebook, Twitter etc by the elements inimical to public order and tranquility, thereby impinging on public safety, particularly in the Kashmir Valley.”

      “Whereas, it has further been observed that such elements are transmitting objectionable contents to spread disaffection amongs the public at large in Kashmir Valley against the State Administration and Security Forces with a view to inciting them to commit various offences at a large scale, cause damage to life and property and disturb peace and tranquility.”

     The Government further reads that, “Wheras it is being felt that continued use of Social Networking sites and instant Messaging Services is likely to be detrimental to the interests of peace and tranquility in the State.”

     “Whereas it was also observed during law and order disturbances of 2016 in the Kashmir  Valley that anti-national and subversive elements, inter alia, extensively misused social media sites and Instant Messaging Services for vitiating peace and instigating violence which caused large scale damage to life and property.”

     “Whereas, anti-national and inimical elements largely succeed transmitting unverified objectionable and inflammatory content thrugh the medium of these Social Networking sites and Instant Messaging Services without any accountability, thereby endangering public life and property causing unrest in the state.”

      “Whereas, on careful examination of all relevant factors, it is observed that the use of social media platform, which are being misused by anti-national and anti-scoial elements by transmitting inflammatory messages, in various forms are immediately required to be regulated/curbed.”

    “Whereas, Section 5 of the Indian Telegraph Act 1885, read with Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Rules 2007, Inter-alia, confers powers upon the Central or the State Government to take possession of licensed telegraphs and order stoppage of transmitting or interception of detection of messages.”

    The order reads: “Now, therefore, in the interest of maintenance of public order, the government, in exercise of powers, conferred by sub-section(2) of section 5 of the Indian Telegraph Act 1885, read with Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Rules 2007, hereby direct all internet service providers (IPS’s), that any message or class of messages to or from any person or class of persons relating to any subject or any pictorial content through the following social networking sites shall not be transmitted in Kashmir Valley, with immediate effect for a period of one month or till further orders, whichever is earlier.

      The social networking sites include facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, QQ, WeChat, Qzone, Tumbir, Google+, Baidu, Skype, Viber, Line, Snapchat, Pinterest, Telegram and Reddit.