Militancy still a problem, difficult to provide 4G services in J&K: Centre

Ghughuti Bulletin

NEW DELHI: With PILs by journalists, lawyers and association of private schools pleading for 4G
internet services in Jammu and
Kashmir, the Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre and the Union Territory to explain by Monday why high-speed internet services be not resumed in the valley to aid health, education and business sectors during
lockdown period.

Attorney general K K Venugopal and solicitor general
Tushar Mehta told a bench of Justices N V Ramana, R Subhash Reddy and B R Gavai that militancy still poses a grave threat to peace in the Kashmir valley and that it would be inappropriate to start the high-speed internet services at this juncture. “Recently a militant was killed by security forces. Nearly 500 persons attended the funeral despite lockdown,” the AG said.

Justice Ramana-led bench asked petitioners whether the J&K HC had sum moth taken up internet services issue and as to what happened in the case. A petitioner’s counsel, Huzefa Ahmadi, told the bench that the HC had taken up a whole gamut of issues, including internet services. “Our specific issue is that in the absence of 4G services it is difficult to hold video conferencing, which hampers doctors from consulting other experts and give advice to their patients, the professionals cannot enter into any contract for supply and purchase of food produce and material, and nearly 2,200 private schools have been hampered in their effort to provide online classes to their students,” he said.

The SC had sought response of the J&K administration on April 10 on a petition filed by an association of journalists. Two subsequent PILs were filed by a lawyer and ‘Private Schools Association of Jammu and Kashmir’, which complained that in the absence of 4G it could not impart online instructions to its students, as was being done by private schools in other states. The association of private schools also said that non-provision of 4G services violated the fundamental right to education of children.

The school association’s counsel told the court that about 2,200 private schools are unable to hold online classes jeopardising ongoing academic session of 22 lakh students, most of whom have tabs or laptops but there is no 4G internet connectivity required for online classes.

SC asked the J&K agovernment and the Centre to file a detailed affidavit on this issue and said it would take up hearing on Monday.

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