Kashmiri netizens logged in on social networking sites for first time in four days on Monday and immediately launched a scathing criticism of the state government for forcing a lengthy internet shutdown.
“Welcome back from the dark ages,” Parvez Ahmad, a resident of Srinagar, posted on Facebook as Internet services were restored on Monday morning. The state government shut internet services, including landline broadband, from Friday morning to Saturday evening. The shutdown was later extended up to Sunday afternoon and then to Monday morning, when it was restored after 77 hours.
The shutdown of internet services was implemented on Friday morning, the first day of Eid, as the state government feared that increased bovine slaughter in defiance of the court’s order would spark tension in communally sensitive areas of the state.
The High Court had earlier this month directed the administration to implement a law banning bovine slaughter and sale of beef in Jammu and Kashmir.
The order evoked strong resentment in Kashmir, where religious groups and separatists called for its defiance and asked people to sacrifice bovines.
Apprehending sacrifice of bovines and subsequent sharing of pictures of social networking sites, the state government ordered all telecom companies operating in Jammu and Kashmir to suspend internet services.
However, there was no sharing of pictures of bovines slaughtered during Eid festivities after internet services were restored.