Srinagar (HRNW) Every day the train to Kashmir‘s remote cyber oasis Banihal is packed as people travel for hours to get online in the disputed region where internet has been cut for five months.
The mountain town of fewer than 4,000 people has six internet cafes, which are booming due to a security clampdown by the Indian government.
“The speed is very slow,” admitted Irfan, manager of one of the cafes where customers pay up to 3,000 rupees ($40) an hour to link their laptop to the snail’s-pace broadband.
“Scores of Kashmiris, mostly students and income tax professionals, come visiting every day,” said Irfan, who only gave one name.
In early August New Delhi made a sudden move to axe Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status, shutting down communications and sending tens of thousands of extra troops into what was already one of the world’s most militarised zones.