The Jammu and Kashmir government is thinking of blocking social media including Facebook, Whatsapp and YouTube in the Valley.
The authorities in Kashmir have decided to block social media (Facebook, Whatsapp and YouTube after the recent circulation of videos showing security forces beating up civilians, which are believed to lead to widespread protests in the volatile Valley.
Sources said that the “decision will be taken soon” to ban the social media in Kashmir, rather than shutting down the internet repeatedly after any volatile situation arises.
The authorities have been shutting down internet in the Valley off and on after last year’s unrest after killing of Hizbul Commander Burhan Wani and recently during bypolls for Srinagar Parliamentary seat in which 8 people were killed on election day.
The internet bandwidth of the internet has been already reduced to 2G after the recent student protests across the Valley.
“The decision to block social media will be taken soon. The government is, principally, of the view that social media has been creating volatile situation in Kashmir. To avoid the spread of rumours, fake news and develop a panicky situation that leads to violence, we are forced to take the decision,” a senior minister in the government said.
“We are forced to take this decision as any action or medium that is deteriorating peace and security, and proving fatal for the people requires to be acted upon,” the minister added.
An official said that the security agencies have been mulling from some time to block access to social media like Facebook, Whatsapp and other sites.
Tensions have been escalating after students clashed with security forces at several places in Kashmir Valley on Monday during protests against the alleged “high-handedness” of security forces at a college in Pulwama in south Kashmir.
The authorities have also ordered all the colleges to remain closed in the state for the next two days in view of the protests.