Remove ban on Facebook, Youtube: Oppn

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Oct 4: Opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), president Mehbooba Mufti, today cautioned the State Government over the blocking of social networking sites, Facebook and Youtube, on mobile internet connections saying that it may bring back youth to streets in Kashmir.
Mehbooba said these social networking sites are the only source of expressing themselves in Kashmir due to lack of other avenues. “The young boys and girls use internet to stay connected and express themselves. They instead of coming out on the streets, express their thoughts through internet. It should be encouraged and allowed,” she added.
As soon as the session began in the morning, the Leader of the Opposition, Mehbooba Mufti, got up and raised the issue of blocking of the two sites on mobile internet connections. She said besides blocking of these two sites, the servers have been slowed down resulting in problems in internet connectivity.
Mehbooba while speaking on the issue said that it is the need of the day for the new generation. “It is the need of the day. We may not be using it as much but the youth are dependent on it,” she said.
It may be mentioned here that soon after the protests that rocked Kashmir valley and Muslim world, the State Government had directed the internet service providers to block Facebook and Youtube if they faced technical difficulties in blocking the anti-Islam video on these sites.
While the two sites cannot be accessed from mobile internet connections, the same are available on broadband connections through fixed telephone lines and GPRS connections.
Mehbooba while describing the step taken by the Government as draconian said that under the grab of blocking the blasphemous and anti-Islam video, an informal ban has been imposed on the social networking sites.
Mehbooba urged the Speaker Mohammad Akbar Lone to issue necessary directions to the Government for lifting the curbs on internet access. The Speaker while refusing to issue the directions said: “Government will have to come up with its statement and if it does not, then the directions can be passed,” the Speaker told Mehbooba.
National Panthers Party MLA, Balwant Singh Mankotia, described the issue as serious one and supported the demand of Mehbooba on the issue.
The State general secretary of the CPI(M), M Y Tarigami, while speaking on the issue said that government should take appropriate measures to lift the blockade. “I support the concern of Mehbooba. Government must take appropriate measures to address these concerns,” Tarigami said.

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