India restores 4G mobile internet in Kashmir after 550 days

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — India has ended an 18-month-long ban on high speed internet services on mobile devices in disputed Kashmir, where opposition to New Delhi has surged after it revoked the region’s autonomy. The order late Friday by the region’s home secretary asked police officials to closely monitor the impact of lifting of restrictions. A blanket internet ban, the longest in a democracy which rights activists dubbed as digital apartheid, came into effect on August 2019 when India stripped Kashmir of its statehood that gave its residents special rights in land ownership and jobs. The move accompanied a security clampdown and total communications blackout that left hundreds of thousands jobless. Months later, India gradually eased some of the restrictions, including partial internet connectivity.