Srinagar October 19 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, mobile internet service is often blocked in the Kashmir Valley which is estimated to have around 6.5 lakh subscribers across its 10 districts, says a media report.

Srinagar-based English daily Greater Kashmir reported that an average subscriber uses 1 GB of data a day in occupied Kashmir. The cost of an average data plan is Rs 399 for 90 days, which means one GB data costs Rs 4.33 a day. So, on a day when authorities shut internet the subscribers in Kashmir pay around Rs 2.5 crore for data they cannot use.

The losses are huge as the authorities direct internet shutdowns frequently in Kashmir. The latest such instance was Wednesday when data services were snapped following the killing of four youth by Indian troops in Fateh Kadal area of Srinagar. Internet services have been snapped in occupied Kashmir more than 15 times so far this year.

As per Software Freedom Law Centre (SFLC), a Delhi-based non-profit organisation, occupied Kashmir has witnessed highest number of internet shutdowns since 2012.

The frequent disruption of data services has annoyed the subscribers who have now begun demanding cellular companies should refund or extend the plan date by number of days the internet services are barred.

Ajaz, a Srinagar resident, said when subscribers purchase a plan, companies clearly mention its expiry date and disconnect the data service on failure to pay up on time. “But at the same time they are following instructions of the authorities but why don’t they refund or extend the service period?” he asked.

Cellular companies say they too face losses due to frequent diktats by the authorities on snapping the internet services.

“We have to follow instructions on this issue, otherwise they will terminate our contract,” said a senior executive of a company, wishing anonymity.

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