February 14, 2020

Internet gag against democratic principles of India: Wajahat Habibullah

Srinagar: Criticizing Government of India for muzzling the voice of people, former Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah Friday said that by gagging internet in Kashmir Valley, Government of India in a way is tarnishing the democratic principles of the country.

   “Free flow of information is the essence of democracy and once you gag the internet on the pretext of law and order, that means you are filching the liberty and freedom of people which is not acceptable in a democratic set up,” Wajahat Habibullah told Srinagar based news agency, Kashmir News Trust and added that the situation in Kashmir Valley is very serious.

    He said that even Supreme Court of India recently held that banning internet is violation of fundamental rights. “The suspension of internet and social media is in no way justified. I can tell you the situation in Kashmir Valley is very serious where the freedom and liberty of the people are being crippled,” He said.

   The former Information Commissioner of India said that he is surprised the way Government has put a blanket ban on social media and is keeping high speed internet in suspension mode. “You can’t gag media in a democracy. In this age of information and technology it is absurd to gag internet and not allowing people and youth in particular to make use of the internet facility when we know that internet has become the nerve centre and necessity of life,” he said.

   Chairperson of the National commission on minorities, Wajahat Habibullah asked Government of India to lift the ban on internet and restore the freedom of people. “I hope gag on high speed internet will be lifted completely and people will be allowed to freely express their views and opinions,” he said.

  In response to a question, he said the report prepared by Yashwant Sinh led delegation on Kashmir has been put in public domain but so for there is no response from the government. Sinha led delegation had arrived in Kashmir to assess the situation some two months back. (KNT)

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