SRINAGAR: Indian-administered Kashmir largely shut down on Monday and hundreds of police were deployed in the troubled region’s main city after the weekend shooting of two civilians by the Indian army, a police chief said.
The shutdown to protest against the shootings came as a police officer and a militant were killed in a separate incident south of the main city Srinagar, said police chief Abdul Gani Mir.
The officer and the militant died in the village of Mandoora, 35 kilometres from Srinagar, during a gun battle that also wounded three soldiers, the police chief said.
“We launched an operation based on intelligence of the presence of militants in the area,” Mir said.
Mir said one policeman was killed, also confirming the death of the militant.
In Srinagar shops and other businesses, along with schools, were closed and traffic was light after calls for a strike in the region to protest at the weekend killings.
On Sunday, soldiers opened fire on angry demonstrators, killing one. They had been protesting after the military shot dead a teenager hours earlier during a hunt for militants in Markondal village north of Srinagar.
Hundreds of police and paramilitary troops were deployed in the inner parts of Srinagar on Monday to try to prevent protests. A curfew was imposed on parts of the region, which remained tense following the deaths.
Despite the curfew, hundreds of villagers in the northern town of Hajin took to the streets, shouting anti-India slogans, while some tried to torch an Indian army-run school.
“Curfew is strictly implemented. The area is calm now,” police superintendent Bashir Khan told AFP.
The army runs “goodwill” schools across the territory as part of an operation aimed at “winning the hearts and minds” of people who deeply resent their presence in populated areas.
Police have launched an investigation into the weekend shootings. The Indian army has started its own probe, after describing both incidents as regrettable.