After military operations, elections new reason for internet shutdown in South Kashmir, students suffer

Srinagar: When financial conditions of the family of 17-year-old Adnan Farooq, class 11th student worsened after his father was diagnosed with a tumour, he diceided to make changes.

Adnan registered for online course for class 11th on online learning platform, Unacademy because he could not afford the fee for offline tuitions in Kashmir.

However, Adnan did not know that his online classes will be hampered due to the frequent Internet shutdowns in south Kashmir.

After Abrogation of Article 370, the 2G services were restored in January 2020, however, 4G Internet continued to be banned in Kashmir except the two districts Ganderbal and Udhampur where 4G was restored on August 16.

“I have a desire to study medical but after spending huge amounts of money on the treatment of my father, my family could not afford my tuition fee. I decided to register on online platform to take course in 11th medical. It cost me around Rs. 3000. I was hopefull that I will take classes regularly but in south Kashmir internet is frequently stopped due to which I miss my online classes,” said Adnan, who resides in Rehmo village of Pulwama.

District Development Council election started in the last week of November and since then Internet has been snapped in the south Kashmir on every alternate day.

Another student, Nasir Hamid who is pursuing post graduation in geography from Kashmir University said that he is not able to attend his online classes since last one month.

“Internet is a distant dream for students of south Kashmir. Internet was already shut down every time a military operation starts here, but for the last one month we have suffered a lot. I along with other students travel 5 km from my village to access internet in this bone chilling cold. Pursuing education is Kashmir is very much difficult,” he added.

Apart from students, journalists and businessmen also have suffered during last one month.

“I had to apply for a fellowship program but due to the internet shutdown I could not apply it here. I had travel to Srinagar from Pulwama to access the internet. Our life has become depressed due to this situation,” said a freelance journalist wishing anonymity.

Divisional Commissioner, Pandurang Pole did not respond to journalistic requests and messages from Free Press Kashmir. (FPK)

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