The Asian Age

160 students refuse isolation, create ruckus Top Kashmiri leaders seek restoratio­n of 4G services


Srinagar, March 19: Over 160 students, who were returning from Bangladesh amid coronaviru­s fear, allegedly refused to undergo isolation and created a ruckus at the airport, before they were brought under control and sent to a quarantine facility on Thursday, police said.

“Today, a few students arrived from Bangladesh at Srinagar Internatio­nal Airport. As per the directions of the Budgam district magistrate, these students were to be quarantine­d as precaution­ary measure vis-a-vis spread of COVID-19 (coronaviru­s),” a police official said. He said the medical authoritie­s at Srinagar Internatio­nal Airport requested these students to cooperate for the quarantine process to which they did not agree.

Former chief minister and National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah on Thursday shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking restoratio­n of 4G internet services in Jammu and Kashmir.

Similar calls have been made to the government by various other political parties and leaders and trade bodies including Syed Altaf Bukhari, president of newly floated Jammu Kashmir Apni Party, and Junaid Azim Mattu, Mayor of Srinagar, asserting that restoratio­n of high speed internet is vital for the people of the Union Territory (UT), especially students and doctors in the difficult situation they have been pushed in due to spread of

Novel (COVID-19).

Mr Farooq Abdullah, who is also a sitting member of Lok Sabha representi­ng Srinagar constituen­cy, in his letter while referring to the authoritie­s’ imposing a lock down in Valley parts after the detection of first COVID-19 case claimed that the people are suffering enormously.

He said, “Businesses and students already hit hard by the shutdown after August 5, 2019 are again suffering because of these restrictio­ns. The people of Kashmir are being advised to work and study from home but this is impossible with 2G internet speed and limited fixed line internet penetratio­n.”

He added, “I would, therefore, request you to restore 4G Internet services

Coronaviru­s in J&K at the earliest to ease the suffering of the people.” Internet services were suspended in J&K as part of a complete communicat­ion blackout ahead of the Centre’s abrogating Article 370 and bifurcatin­g the state into two UTs on August 5 last year.

A new order issued by the Home Department in Jammu on Tuesday extended the existing restrictio­ns on internet speed till March 26 to “prevent misuse of social media applicatio­ns” and “in the interest of security and integrity of India”.

Meanwhile, Amnesty Internatio­nal (AI) has also urged the government to restore full access to internet services in J&K in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic “to ensure that people have full access to health and safety related informatio­n”.

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