India lifts some internet restrictions in IHK opening access to social media
SRINAGAR: India lifted some restrictions on internet access in held Kashmir on Wednesday, including allowing access to social media websites for the first time since the restive Himalayan region was locked down and its autonomy revoked in August.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government withdrew the special rights of Jammu and Kashmir – then India’s only Muslim majority state – and split it into two federally administered territories last August, arguing the move was necessary to spur development.
At the same time, New Delhi flooded the heavily-militarized region – which is also claimed in full by arch-rival Pakistan – with additional troops, detained scores of people, and imposed harsh movement and communications restrictions.
Most of those restrictions were gradually eased but curbs on communications remained, with social media websites including Facebook (FB.O), WhatsApp and Instagram blocked and internet speeds throttled, particularly on mobile phones. – Reuters