Srinagar: People of Kashmir heaved a sigh of relief as a ban on social media was lifted by the Jammu and Kashmir authorities Wednesday.
“Finally, we can connect with the rest of the world without using virtual private networks (VPNs),” Sajad Ahmad, a Srinagar resident, said with a big smile on his face.
Removing the ban on social media platforms, the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Wednesday allowed access to all web sites on 2G mobile data services and fixed line internet in the Union Territory till March 17.
There was disbelief among some netizens about the sudden restoration of access to social media applications and sites.
“I do not know what has changed in the past few months that the government has lifted the ban. The ban in the first place was misplaced and unnecessary,” Naveed Anjum, a software programmer, said.
Iltija Mufti, daughter of PDP president Mehbooba Mufti also commented on the development.
“Seems like J&K admin finally realised futility of ban on SM since Kashmiris circumvented it through VPNs. Simply became a cat & mouse chase where Kashmiris outwitted state apparatus ie Big Brother,” she tweeted from her mother’s Twitter handle.
Earlier, only access to white-listed sites was allowed as the service was restored for a week January 25 and subsequently extended from time to time, after being snapped August 5 last year when the Centre abrogated the special status to the erstwhile state and bifurcated it into two Union Territories.
The ban, however, was largely ineffective as people resorted to use of VPNs to bypass the curbs.