Ban lifted on social media sites in Indian-held Kashmir

The Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday evening revoked a month-long ban on 22 social media sites and applications, including Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter.

The Mufti government - which is in a coalition with the BJP in the state government - said in its internet-banning order that mischievous elements were exhorting people to violence and spreading hate via social networking sites.

He said the ban was lifted after clearance from the security agencies.

Ban was lifted on 22 media sites and applications in Kashmir. Telecom service providers were directed to stop transmission of messages and pictures through social media networks or instant messaging services.

The month-long ban on social networking web sites in Jammu and Kashmir ended Friday night, with the state government deciding against extending the much-criticised block.

The social networking sites banned included Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, QQ, We Chat, Qzone, Tumbir, Google, Baidu, Skype, Viber, Line, Snapchat, Pinterest, Telegram, Reddit, Snapfish, You Tube (upload), Vine, Xanga, Buzznet and Flickr.

The ongoing student protests are also being taken into account by the security agencies, which see "social media as a potent tool to further escalate the student agitation".

"The negative discourse that people run from across the border or here needs to be countered with positive discourse", he had said.

  • Leroy Wright