Authorities in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday restored mobile phone services in five districts of Jammu after over three weeks of suspension, ANI reported. The services were resumed in Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Rajouri and Poonch districts.

On Wednesday, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik had said mobile phone connectivity was in the process of resuming in Kupwara and Handwara districts, and would be extended to other districts soon. Malik had claimed phone and internet services were mostly used by terrorists and Pakistanis for mobilisation and indoctrination, and less by the people of the state.

“It is a kind of weapon used against us so we have stopped it. Services will be resumed gradually,” he had said. Last week, Malik defended the Centre’s move and said, “If there’s no telephone for 10 days, so be it”. He had said the lack of communication lines is a better option than loss of lives.

Restrictions were imposed and communication lines were cut in Jammu and Kashmir a day before the central government’s August 5 announcement to revoke the state’s special status. Several leaders were also either put under house arrest or detained. The move drew stiff criticism from Opposition leaders, who have also been stopped, on multiple occasions, from visiting the state to assess the ground reality.

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