07:39 GMT +319 September 2019
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    India's Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers patrol near the India Pakistan border fencing at Garkhal in Akhnoor, about 35 kilometers (22 miles) west of Jammu, India, Tuesday, Aug.13, 2019

    Governor of Indian State Jammu and Kashmir Defends Lockdown, Communications Blackout

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    New Delhi (Sputnik): There has been no loss of human life nor any inconvenience caused to the people of India's Jammu and Kashmir in the nearly three weeks since the central government imposed what it called a necessary administrative lockdown to prevent any untoward law and order incident, said the region's governor on Sunday.

    Speaking with media in New Delhi, Governor Satya Pal Malik also defended the decision to impose a communications blackout across the region following the central government's decision to revoke Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution that had granted special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir for over six decades.

    "In all crises that happened in Kashmir in the past, at least 50 people use to die in the first week itself. Our attitude is such that there should be no loss of human lives", Governor Malik told media persons.

    ​"If the telephones are not operating, there are reasons for the (telephones) lines not to be activated. But we are committed to restoring all forms of communication as soon as possible", he added.

    He also rejected reports of people in the Kashmir Valley facing shortages of essential commodities, saying all products were being made available, according to news agency ANI.

    ​The Jammu and Kashmir governor, who was in the Indian capital to pay his last respects to India's former Finance and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, said public opinion would change for the better over the next 10 to 15 days.

    Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated earlier in the month after India announced a decision to amend Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution, repealing the special status of the Jammu and Kashmir region, and dividing the territory into two federally administered enclaves - Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

    Pakistan has strongly condemned India's decision. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) also informally discussed the Kashmir issue at China's request in a closed-door meeting, but with no discernible result.

    Kashmir has been a bone of contention between the two countries since they gained freedom from British colonial rule in 1947. Both govern it in part but claim it in full. They have also fought two wars over Kashmir.

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    tensions, Pakistan, Jammu and Kashmir, India
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