Social Media Ban: Is Mehbooba Stepping Into Shoes Of Omar Abdullah?

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IMG_20170418_095938Srinagar: There is nothing confirmed yet. But the rumours across the social media sites are rife that Jammu and Kashmir government is mulling to block the social media sites. It aims to take the decision to counter what it says that youths are spreading rumours and misinformation about Kashmir situation, potentially responsible for disturbing peace. The decision may come a week after apex court declared internet as the basic amenity.

The uncertainty and the violence that scaled up during the elections of April 9 which left nine civilians dead in Srinagar parliamentary constituency virtually triggered a war of videos between the agitating youths and the government forces. After every half an hour the videos were seen being circulated on facebook and whats’up showing the “highhandedness” of forces or the protesting mobs chasing or beating security forces. The videos were highly provocative triggering disturbance at the places where they are being watched.  

Amid the circulation of such highly provocative and disturbing videos, the government was apparently helpless to contain the situation. Some newspapers reported that the Chief Minister, who also holds the portfolio of Home affairs, is suggested to ban the facebook and whatsup by security and intelligence agencies significantly used by the people to organize protests after sharing provocative information over it.

The government is yet to decide over the recommendations of its agencies but people have already started trolling the government’s proposed move on same social sites which may anytime get blocked.

However, if the Mehbooba led government ever takes the step to ban social media sites, she has almost succeeded the previous regime led by Omar Abdullah. When Omar Abdullah government in 2010 faced the hostile situation in Kashmir and witnessed unending mass protests over the staged encounter of three civilians by army, he abruptly banned the internet in valley for several months. The ban on SMS service was cleared almost two years later. PDP was in opposition and didn’t only criticized the Omar Abdullah’s move who was suggested by the same agencies feeding the information to Mehbooba, she also took on the roads against what she termed “repressive” moves of NC led regime.

 If the rumours turn into reality and the social media is banned, Mehboba will not only be stepping intohe shoes of Omar Abdullah but she may face a barrage of questions from the critics for her role in opposition against Omar Abdullah government who faced much tougher situation then the present times.

 

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