India is restoring 4G internet services in Jammu and Kashmir, 18 months after enforcing restrictions in the Muslim-majority state in an attempt to curb the spread of potential backlash over its decision to strip the region of its special status in August of 2019.

Rohit Kansal, principal secretary of the Jammu and Kashmir government, said Friday evening that 4G internet services were being restored in the entire region. India lifted ban on internet and some social media services in two districts (of 20) of the state last year but maintained speed restrictions and time limits, after Supreme Court ruled last year that an indefinite shutdown of the internet in the state was unwarranted and demonstrated “abuse of power” by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government.

The internet ban in Jammu and Kashmir was by far the longest by any democracy.

Raman Chima, a senior international counsel and Asia Pacific Policy director at Access Now, a nonprofit internet advocacy organization, said today’s move was welcoming, but “let’s be clear — the previous shutdown was excessive, mindless repeated. Glad that all Jammu and Kashmir residents will soon have internet restored, denied to them in violation of their rights under the Indian Constitution.

This is a developing story. More to follow…

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