11:00 GMT +325 May 2019
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    Kashmir Youths Use Messaging Apps, Social Media to Incite Civil Unrest

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    Social media and instant messaging apps are turning out to be the most potent tools of the youth unrest in the Indian side of Kashmir as they are being used frequently to mobilize stone-pelters against Indian armed forces.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — Indian intelligence agencies have found that WhatsApp, the instant messaging platform, is being used by secessionist elements to instigate stone-pelting in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. On the basis of intelligence inputs, the Indian Home Ministry shut down the internet in the state to curb both the stone-pelting and the use of social media to incite further violence in Kashmir.

    For the past several months, the state of Jammu and Kashmir has seen the power of social media as almost 300 WhatsApp groups have been used to incite Kashmiri youths to violence and stone-pelting.

    Intelligence inputs sent by the intelligence agencies said that almost 250 to 300 persons are attached to a single WhatsApp group. Similarly, Facebook has emerged as a tool to express dissent in Jammu and Kashmir.

    Ever since the Indian government banned internet in the Indian side of Kashmir, there have been considerably fewer cases of stone-pelting.

    In fact, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi today about the situation in the valley was an indicator on how putting restrictions on social media platforms is showing desired results.

    After a spurt in militancy was put down in the 1990s, life on the Indian side of Kashmir was reasonably peaceful until July 2016 when the killing of Burhan Wani, the leader of an outlawed Kashmiri separatist group, by Indian forces led to the resurgence of street protests. The region has been on the boil since then.

    Both India and Pakistan claim Kashmir to be their territory in the dispute which harks back to the Partition of British India in 1947. Though the two countries have fought three wars since then, the dispute is far from over.

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    social media, unrest, WhatsApp, Jammu, India, Kashmir
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