Tribune News Service
Srinagar, September 10
The official website of the Jammu and Kashmir government’s Directorate of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) has been last updated more than a month ago on August 4 - on the eve of the abrogation of Article 370.
The updates on the website remain suspended as an unprecedented communication blockade continues in the region for more than a month. The Directorate, however, continues to send official statements of the government via email to media houses. The DIPR is the information dissemination organ of the state administration and publishes government’s statements and day-to-day updates on governance.
The suspension of the official government websites in the state is widespread as the Internet services have remained suspended in the region since August 4 midnight.
Since the imposition of information blockade, the DIPR has hosted several media briefings which were addressed by senior officials of the government, including Principal Secretary and state government spokesman Rohit Kansal, DIPR in charge Sehrish Asgar, Director of School Education Kashmir Younis Malik and police officials.
The DIPR also hosts a media facilitation centre at a private hotel where media personnel are allowed have an access to the Internet and phone service. The mobile phone and Internet services, including broadband and lease line Internet connections, have remained suspended since August 4 midnight when a major crackdown was launched ahead of the abrogation of Article 370.
In the past few weeks, the state administration ordered restoration of thousands of landline phones in the region but no assurance has been provided so far on restoring mobile phone and Internet services. The other important website which has failed to update information is the Irrigation and Flood Control Department’s website – which updated on a daily basis about the level of water in flood-prone Jhelum river and also posted the flood advisories.
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