High-speed internet ban hampering journalism in Kashmir – Greater Kashmir

At the day break photojournalists in Kashmir pack their bags
with cameras and equipment to film the stories of coronavirus outbreak.

With hardly any protective gear but with a never say no
attitude these brave journalists are always on the move. They are going to
hospitals and vulnerable places to bring the stories of hope and despair in the
times of this enormous crisis.

The government has banned high speed internet in Kashmir
shut again after a prolonged lockdown following the abrogation of Article 370
on August 5 last year making the job of journalists even more difficult.

“We want that a similar lockdown is enforced in Kashmir
as it is in the rest of the country, but we want that high speed Internet
should be restored,” Firdous Ilahai, a Srinagar based journalist. “We
also want to work from home, but can’t do that, we want to save our families
and not to venture out, but we have no option.”

A media centre was established for journalists in Kashmir
after the lockdown and an Internet blackout following the abrogation of Article
370. Few computer terminals were installed to cater to the heavy rush of

But with the threat of coronavirus looming large and in
times of social distancing that option may just not help.

“We are always working in tough conditions, whether we
are cover protests, stone pelting and corona virus threat, we are appealing to
the government to restore high-speed internet to allow us to operate from our
homes,” said Showkat Ahmad, a photo journalist.

The government has stuck to its decision of banning
high-speed Internet in Jammu and Kashmir despite appeals for its restoration in
the wake of corona virus threat, this has really hampered journalism and
impacted all aspects of life. It is hoped that the what is the ban on high
speed Internet is lifted so that problems of people also come to an end.


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