Kashmir most internet shutdown-prone region: study

   By Zahid Rafiq</p> <p>SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir (AA) - A recent study has found that 47 percent of India's internet shutdowns take place in the disputed Jammu and Kashmir state where unrest is often followed by curfews and restrictions by the government.</p> <p>“Out of 36 states and union territories, these four regions (Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, and particularly the contested territory of Jammu and Kashmir) account for more than 75% of all recorded shutdown events in India (2012-17), while Jammu and Kashmir alone comprises about 47%,” the Stanford University study says. </p> <p>The study &quot;Of Blackouts and Bandhs: The Strategy and Structure of Disconnected Protest in India&quot; asserts that in Kashmir region communication if often inaccessible several times a month.

"Blackout are thus perceived as 'a logical extension of curfews' and measures whose purpose is to inhibit public gatherings,” the study adds.

According to the study, the 2016 mass rebellion in Kashmir was responded by New Delhi with the longest network shutdown lasting 203 days.

The study calls India “the most shutdown-prone sovereign state in the world” with over 100 shutdowns recorded, more than all the other countries put together,

Jammu and Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.

Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars — in 1948, 1965 and 1971 — two of them over Kashmir.

Also, in Siachen glacier in northern Kashmir, Indian and Pakistani troops have fought intermittently since 1984. A cease-fire came into effect in 2003.

Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.

According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have reportedly been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989.

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