March 5 (UPI) -- India on Wednesday restored Internet access to government-controlled regions of Kashmir and Jammu, seven months after it was shut down when legislators controversially revoked their autonomy.
The government originally blocked all communications, from phone service to broadband Internet, anticipating backlash last August when it first stripped the special status from the areas. It has slowly lifted those restrictions since.
Those living in the region will again be able to get back online, but at slower 2G speeds.
Iltija Mufti, the daughter of detained Kashmir leader Mehbooba Mufti, said the government likely lifted the ban because it realized its futility, as many young people were able to get around the Internet blackout.
The government in New Delhi initially justified the block on terrorism and safety grounds, but the Indian Supreme Court ruled in January it represented a denial of free speech and demanded a more detailed reason.
Kashmir has long been a focal point of tension and sometimes violent struggles between Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan, which administers Azad Jammu and Kashmir to the north and west.