Srinagar: With the authorities blocking internet services in Jammu and Kashmir, people faced difficulties in reaching out to their near ones for greetings and wishes on the occasion of Eid-ul Azha on Friday.
The state government yesterday ordered termination of data services from this morning till Saturday night, apprehending its misuse by anti-social elements to create communal tension.
The ban caused difficulties to people who would otherwise use social networking sites and other services offered by the internet to greet people especially those living abroad.
"I am facing a lot of difficulties in greeting my friends outside the state and the country. I would use internet to call people outside the country to greet them on Eid and use services like WhatsApp and skype to connect with them but today I could not do that," a youth, Aaishan Ahmed said here.
He said the problem was accentuated in the wake of the tragedy in Mina yesterday in which over 700 people were killed in a stampede.
"Our relatives and friends are there and we are worried after the stampede yesterday. We also needed to get in touch with them on the occasion of Eid and we would normally talk to them using different applications on the internet. The ban has made it difficult," he said.
The termination of the internet services has caused difficulties specially for journalists and other professionals and their work has been affected.
"I needed to send photographs of Eid celebration and the clashes that took place in Kashmir. How do I send them in the absence of any internet services here," a photojournalist, working with a national newspaper, said.
He said the people of Kashmir were accustomed to a ban on the mobile internet services on days like Republic Day and Independence Day but totally banning them on a festival was "unheard of".
"We have seen how authorities clamp down on the services on January 26 and August 15. But even then broadband services of BSNL used to work but today nothing is working and we are facing immense hardship on account of no services and that too on an occasion like Eid. This is something unheard of in any part of the world," he said.
Police said it is monitoring the situation continuously and no decision has been taken so far to remove the ban.
"No decision has been taken yet. However, we are monitoring the situation and will act accordingly," a senior police officer said.