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27 April 2017, 04:04 | Jodi Jackson
"The government said the step was being taken because ".it has been felt that continued misuse of social networking sites and instant messaging services is likely to be detrimental to the interest of peace and tranquillity of the state".
Meanwhile, former J&K chief minister and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday said the suspension of the social media sites by the PDP-BJP government would harm the state's economy and render thousands of youth unemployed.
The ban remains effective till further orders or for a period of one month, whichever is earlier.
The sites and apps which will be inaccessible also include Wechat; QQ; Qzone; Google Plus; Skype; Line; Pinterest; Snapchat; Youtube; Vine and Flickr. Earlier, there were reports that the government has banned the internet, but such reports were found to be rumors.
The move comes against the backdrop of repeated student protests in Kashmir, which the authorities believe are fanned through social media.
Rights activists say Indian forces in occupied Kashmir have been using human shields since the late 1980s, when an armed insurgency against Indian rule erupted across the territory.
Graphic videos claiming to show abuses on both sides have been shared extensively on social media and have added fuel to the conflict.
The mobile internet services in the Valley were snapped following widespread student protests in the summer capital Srinagar and nearly all other Valley towns.
Kashmiri students and other protesters throw stones at an Indian police vehicle as they clash with police in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, April 24, 2017.
In recent days, the valley has seen angry protests from students rebelling against the heavy-handed tactics employed by the police and security forces in subduing demonstrators demanding greater autonomy or outright independence.
The internet is often restricted in Kashmir - to prevent election interference and to quell protests and strikes, which often turn violent when police and security officers clash with civilians.
Kashmir has been disputed between India and Pakistan since partition of India in 1947.
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