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BJP and OPPN clash over net crackdown on J&K at panel meeting | India News


NEW DELHI: A meeting of the permanent parliamentary committee on information technology led by Shashi Tharoor saw a strong exchange between the BJP and the opposition on whether “national security” issues can be addressed in the context of the suspension of services of Internet and telecommunications, particularly in Jammu. And Kashmir.
In committee proceedings, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla wrote to the panel saying that Lok Sabha’s rule 270 of business conduct allowed the government to withhold a document if it was deemed detrimental to the interests of the state. He said it was verified with the Lok Sabha secretariat that the committee intended to primarily discuss J&K.
BJP MPs Rajyavardhan Rathore, Nishikant Dubey, Anil Agarwal and Sanjay Seth argued that internet crackdown in a specific area at J&K was a “law and order issue” and a state issue and was pending in the Supreme Court, and It could not be addressed by the Committee. Tharoor, however, overruled the objections on the grounds that it was an ongoing discussion. This led to a heated discussion with Dubey saying that the central rule at ert while J&K was repeatedly extended from 1990 to 1996 and the situation there was understood to be extraordinary. Similarly, the current internet restrictions were based on a specific assessment that Pakistani-backed terrorists may misuse the facilities.
Sources said he also spoke with Tharoor by phone, who assured him that the committee “did not interfere” in matters of national security. Subsequently, MHA officials appeared before the panel.

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