On August 5 2019, the Indian government suspended telecom services in Kashmir, on the eve of removing its special status. Since then, people living in the state (now, a union territory) could not communicate over the internet. But now, the Jammu and Kashmir Home Department has finally restored internet 2G mobile internet in all the districts, however, with a catch.
The centre reinstated landline services across the newly declared union territory in September, followed by which postpaid mobile services were restored in October. Anyways, prepaid and services, which are commonly used by the citizens have been only restored this month. The prepaid SIM services were renewed last week followed by 2G and broadband internet services today.
Although people residing in Kashmir can now access the internet, they will be only able to visit 153 whitelisted websites. The list includes most used mail services, education sites, shopping sites, entertainment websites including streaming services, utility services, travel sites, and some automobile sites. Unfortunately, it does not include any major news media, social media or even YouTube. For the full list of whitelisted websites, head over to this post by OpIndia.
That said, Kashmiris can opt for proxies and VPNs to bypass the firewall implemented by the government to access the websites of their choice. But sadly, not everyone is aware of it. Multiple internet shutdowns across the county over the past few months have earned India ‘the internet shutdown capital of the world; moniker.