Journalists in Kashmir today protested the internet blackout as it completed 100 days. Holding up laptops and handbills that read “100 Days No Internet”, dozens of journalists gathered at the Kashmir Press Club in Srinagar and went on a protest march, demanding that internet services be restored immediately. “We took out the protest against the suspension of internet services for 100 days now,” journalist Pervez Bukhari told PTI. “Internet is a basic tool for journalists to discharge their professional duties and we demand its immediate restoration.”
Phone and internet services were suspended in Kashmir late in the evening on August 4, hours before the Indian government dismantled the state’s constitutional autonomy. While landline and postpaid mobile phone services have since been restored, prepaid mobile services and the internet remain blocked. Journalists working for publications outside the valley have to use a “Media Facilitation Centre”, set up inside a Srinagar hotel, to file their reports. The centre has only a handful of computers, so reporters sometimes have to wait hours for their turn to use one.