Jammu, January 16 | Describing the restoration of 2G mobile internet services in few districts of Jammu region as contemptuous defiance of Supreme Court orders, Harsh Dev Singh lambasted the J&K administration for further continuing with its policy of suppression by trampling the right of freedom of speech and expression guaranteed to the people by the Constitution of India. He said that the restoration of the obsolete 2G services on the post-paid mobile telephones only tantamount to ban on internet services which conspicuously has been resumed by the administration to ‘save its skin’ in view of the SC orders.
Asserting that the Supreme Court orders strictly directed the J&K administration to review curbs on mobile internet services to restore it in the manner it was before 5th of August 2019, Harsh Dev pointed out that apex court categorically declared that the freedom of speech and expression and the freedom to practice any profession over the medium of internet enjoys constitutional protection under Art 19(1)(a) and Art 19(1)(g). It also held that the suspension of internet services can be ordered only for the temporary duration under Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Services) rules, 2017, added Harsh.
“Its resumption on post-paid mobile users has categorically deprived the pre-paid mobile users who comprise the majority of subscribers of the mobile internet services. 2G services are exceptionally feeble and slow and don’t allow access to all the sites. It has also been observed that such services are not being provided by all the telecom companies except the BSNL. The students still continue to suffer, the commercial and business houses still continue to suffer huge losses, the traders, shop keepers and the media fraternity are still facing acute problems. Why the policy of coercion has been enforced on the people of Jammu Pradesh? Why the Jammu region has been put under siege despite having nationalistic character?”, questioned Harsh.
Accusing the J&K government of playing hide and seek over mobile internet services, Harsh Dev Singh regretted that the restoration of useless 2G connectivity in few districts in Jammu province was not only a cruel joke with the people but a contemptuous mockery of the SC orders. Is it a compliance or defiance of the orders passed by the Supreme Court? asked Harsh. He said that the decision to restore 2G services was only a face-saving exercise by the administration in view of the SC orders and it had directly or indirectly continued to curb the civil liberties of the people.
“If the govt. feels that the restoration of the full-fledge mobile internet services would reactivate the anti-national elements, then why does it shy away from pressing into service its abundantly available paraphernalia equipped with high tech gadgets to check the cyber-crime? The unjustifiable decisions are taken by the govt. to throw the lives of the common people out of gear only corroborated the fact that it was incapable of curbing the anti-national elements, malefactors and the offenders of the law in J&K, said Harsh.
While questioning the criminal silence of the Jammu based BJP leaders on the sensitive issue, he demanded immediate resumption of the 4G mobile internet services in Jammu region. “The government should tighten its security network rather harassing the people for ludicrous reasons. Panthers party would be forced to launch a huge stir if the full fledge mobile services were not restored at the earliest”, warned Harsh.