The Centre has blocked 14 mobile applications that were allegedly being used by terror groups – largely in Jammu and Kashmir – for communication, NDTV reported on Monday, citing unnamed officials.

The apps that have been blocked are Wickrme, Mediafire, Briar, BChat, Nandbox, Conion, IMO, Element, Second line, Zangi, Threema, Crypviser, Enigma and Safeswiss.

The action was taken under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, on the recommendation of the Union home ministry, an official said, according to The Indian Express. The provision allows the Centre to block public access to digital resources in the interests of the sovereignty, integrity and defence of India, security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states and public order.

The recommendation to block the 14 applications was made after the home ministry found that terror groups were using them to communicate with on-ground workers in Jammu and Kashmir, a central intelligence officer said, according to The Indian Express.

“These apps do not have any representatives in India and cannot be contacted for seeking information as mandated by Indian laws,” an official said.

In September 2020, India had banned 118 China-based mobile applications, including the widely popular online game PUBG. The information technology ministry had said that the apps were “engaged in activities prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India and security and the security of state and public order”.

This action came close on heels of the government’s ban on 59 Chinese apps in June 2020, including the hugely-popular TikTok. A month later, 47 applications that were clones of the blocked apps were also banned.