India has ordered Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in India-occupied Kashmir to block Facebook and WhatsApp with 20 other social media sites and online programs.
Various videos and pictures have been made on the internet where Kashmiris was cruelly abused by the Indian security forces on 9 April after a violent local election. To prevent further protests and public indignation, a ban on social media sites in the peaceful valley has been announced for a month.Indian authorities justified their conduct by claiming that social media sites were “abused by anti-national and anti-social elements” and “it was in the interests of maintaining public order.”
The government hereby regulates all Internet service providers that any message … will not immediately be transferred to the Kashmir Valley by the following social networking sites for a period of one month or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
The government is often criticized for stopping internet services in order to prevent anti-Indian demonstrations being organized, but it is the first time that authorities have completely closed down sites like Facebook.Banned websites include prominent names like Wechat, QQ, Qzone, Google Plus, Skype, Line, Pinterest, Snapchat, Youtube, Vine and Flickr.
Gull Mohammad Wani, a professor and political analyst, told the media:
[The ban] is to control the political space. The government is trying to control things in a military way that will not help.The government claims it took this step to calm the situation. In the absence of social media, rumors can be more dangerous as we have seen in the past.
The move came against the Kashmir students who repeatedly protested against the brutality of the Indian Army in the region. The authorities believe that they are all fled by social media.Not long ago, a local police officer alleged that more than 350 WhatsApp groups were being used to undermine the authorities, of which 90 percent were closed.