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IOK students, traders worst sufferers of internet suspension


Srinagar, December 28, 2019 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, students and businesses are the worst sufferers as the internet services remain suspended since August 5, this year, when Modi-led Indian communal government repealed Kashmir’s special status, divided it into two union territories and put it under military siege. Hundreds of students, who aspire to appear in various competitive examinations, have to make frequent visits to the internet kiosks set up in offices of deputy commissioners of some districts.

Maleeha Aijaz, who is preparing to appear in the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) exams, in a media interview in Srinagar said, “We have no information regarding what all documents we have to keep with us. After waiting for the turn for hours, we are turned back if something is missing.”

Basit Shafi, another student, said that the number of kiosks was not enough to cater to a huge number of students and job aspirants who have to fill the forms online. “More than 70,000 students are expected to appear in various examinations. Do you think a dozen-odd internet stations are enough?” he asked.

Farooq Ahmad Khan, a businessman, said almost every paperwork related to business is now to be done online. “Although the authorities have set up facilitation centres but these are not enough. For example, I have to shut my shop for a day to be able to give GST returns. It is not only cumbersome but humiliating as well,” he added.

Even normal banking operations have been severely hit and people have to visit their respective branches for paying utility bills which they would otherwise pay online. “The number of utility bills we used to handle had dropped significantly as people would pay these online. But now everyone has to come to the bank, resulting in long queues, which has also affected our productivity,” an employee of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank said.

For more information, contact:
Kashmir Media Service
Phone: +92-51-4435548, +92-51-4435549
Fax: +92-51-4861736