New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik on Sunday justified the Centre’s decision to suspend landline and mobile phone services and Internet in the Valley, saying the move was helping save lives.

“Jammu and Kashmir has not witnessed a single killing in 10 days. If no communication helps saves lives, what is the harm?” Malik said.

“In all the crises that happened in Kashmir in the past, at least 50 people used to die in the first week itself. Our attitude is such that there should be no loss of human lives. 10 din telephone nahi honge, nahi honge, lekin hum bahut jaldi sab wapas kar denge (let there be no mobile phones for 10 days, we will ensure normalcy very soon),” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

The J&K governor also dismissed reports of a shortage of medicinal supplies and essential food items in the state, saying, “There is no shortage of essential commodities and medicines in Kashmir. In fact, we delivered meat, vegetables and eggs to people’s houses on Eid.”

Earlier this month, the government had revoked J&K’s special status under Article 370 and bifurcated the state into two Union territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Communication across the state was snapped on the evening of August 4 ahead of the introduction in Parliament of the legislation that abrogated Article 370. The government also cancelled the annual Amarnath Yatra, citing security threats from across the border

Malik was in the national capital to pay last respects to former Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, who passed away on Saturday at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.

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Fondly remembering Jaitley, Malik said it was the departed leader who had insisted him to take up the responsibility as the Jammu and Kashmir Governor last year. “I was advised by Arun Jaitley to take up the responsibility as Governor. He told me that it will be historic. He also told me that his in-laws are from Jammu,” he said.

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