India brought back some basic services to Kashmir after its shutdown was deemed illegal, but now it’s restoring some of the services that many people elsewhere take for granted. Reuters reports the Indian government has reactivated 4G services in the Kashmiri areas of Ganderbal and Udhampur “on a trial basis.” The Supreme Court had deemed the indefinite shutdown illegal.
It’s not certain if or when restrictions in other areas would be removed.
The Indian government applied blanket bans on internet access in Kashmir after it revoked partial autonomy in the region. The measure was meant to enforce security in the disputed territory, but it also cut off businesses and other facilities that needed at least some high-speed internet to thrive.
The restoration also comes at an important moment. With the world in the midst of a pandemic, fast mobile data could be vital for education, online shopping, and India’s planned health ID cards. In that light, 4G service could represent a safety measure while it’s still risky to visit others.