It was only in 2003 that New Delhi allowed mobile services in war-torn Kashmir, banning it in fear that militants would use this service to plan terror attacks. Now, security officials say troops have eliminated many militants by tracking their mobile phones and tapping conservations. For example, when a senior member of an Islamist rebel called a newspaper office a few minutes after a bomb blast from his mobile phone in Kashmir. Little did he know that this single act would lead to him being captured, by way of tracking down his mobile phone signals.
Militants and governments in other parts of the world are more aware of this potential threat to their activities. The Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka for example have banned the use of mobile phones for this very reason. Instead they use satellite phones that are harder to track. In Nepal, the now ousted royalist government of King Gyanendra shut down mobile phone services when these instruments were used to plan big rallies against him.
In addition to helping track down militants, mobile phones have also helped save lives in another way in Kashmir- both citizens trapped in building controlled by suicide bombers and hostages kidnapped by militants have used mobile phones to help alert authorities of their where-abouts.