Pakistan condemns killing of Hizbul militant in Kashmir

Authorities clamped a curfew across most of Indian-administered Kashmir for the first day of the Muslim Ramadan festival today and partially cut telephone services to thwart protests over the killing of a top rebel commander.

The district administration has also ordered closure of all colleges and higher secondary schools in Srinagar for tomorrow.

The Hurriyat Conference, of which Malik's party is a member, has called a two-day shutdown against the killing and called for a "march to Tral" on May 30.

Witnesses said a young man was killed and several other people were injured after government forces fired on the protesters near the site of the gunbattle. "Barring two minor stone pelting incidents in Tahab (Pulwama) and 90 Feet Raod (Srinagar), the situation remained under control", he said, adding that no injury was reported during these incidents.

Bhat was buried past midnight in his ancestral graveyard in Rutsana village, as hundreds converged - arriving from different areas, amid massive security.

Security forces were deployed across the valley, train services suspended and examinations of the Kashmir University, Islamic University of Science and Technology and other institutions were also postponed due to the strike.

Traders shuttered shops and businesses across the Kashmir Valley, including in the region's main city of Srinagar. Sabzar Ahmad Bhat, a senior leader for the Hizbul Mujahideen, was martyred on Saturday in a gunbattle with Indian troops in his hometown of Tral.

The Kashmir Valley has been on the edge since Saturday when Sabzar Bhat was killed in a gunfight with the security forces in Saimoh village of Pulwama district along with his associate, Faizan Ahmad.

Meanwhile, clashes erupted in Trehgam village in northern part of Kashmir's Kupwara district on Monday afternoon, reports reaching here said.

Unrest stirred again in the Valley after Bhat's killing, as locals took to the streets and clashed with the security forces to express their anger over the killings. A civilian was killed and more than 50 people were injured in the protests.

The separatists have called for a two-day shutdown to protest the killing of the two militants.

"Yes, both of them were gunned down and the operation is still going on", police chief Shesh Pal Vaid said.

Restrictions have also been imposed in Anantnag, Pulwama and Shopian districts in south Kashmir and in the township of Sopore in north Kashmir, officials said.

Last year, almost 100 protesters were killed after Hizbul Mujahideen leader Burhan Wani was martyred triggering months of anti-India protests.

  • Leroy Wright