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Anti-India Protests In Kashmir Follow Reported Killing Of Rebels

Anti-India Protests In Kashmir Follow Reported Killing Of Rebels

"We contacted his family at Chunduna village after coming to know that Dr Bhat was with other terrorists at Budigam", a police officer told TOI.

A soldier and a policeman were also injured in the gunfight that erupted.

Anti-India sentiment runs deep among Kashmir's mostly Muslim population after decades of Indian rule.

"On the basis of information (received), we conducted a cordon-and-search operation and killed the five militants".

More than 270 rebels have been killed in intensified operations led by the Indian army since past year, officials say.

"Words fail to express the pain of the tragedy unfolding in Shopian as the count of the brutally killed by Indian forces keeps rising", said Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. Another three men were killed in shootings the police blamed on rebels. The authorities also continued to snap internet and train services across the territory.

"During the encounter five ultras of outlawed Hizbul Mujhadeen were neutralised", a police spokesman said.

Major clashes broke out between civilians and security forces in Shopian, Pulwama and other parts of South Kashmir following encounter of five terrorists in Shopian's Badigam on Sunday.

Bhat, an assistant professor in the sociology department of Kashmir University, was reported missing on Friday.

Police made repeated attempts to make them surrender which did not materialise, the official said.

Vaid said they repeatedly asked them to surrender.

As the news of the encounter spread, protests erupted in Shopian and adjoining areas. Later Sunday, tens of thousands of people gathered for the funeral of the slain rebel leader, including at least a dozen armed militants who fired their guns in air to salute their fallen comrade.

"Strike will continue across Kashmir tomorrow as well against the killings in Shopian", a statement issued by separatists Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik said. "The silence of world community over the atrocities is not just criminal but also legitimizes this violence".

Opposition National Conference (NC) working president Omar Abdullah said Kashmir issue has to be resolved through sustained dialogue and engagement and the "unabated" civilian killings in the Valley were unacceptable.

On Saturday, Indian troops killed three militants during a gun battle in Srinagar city.

India often accuses Pakistan of fuelling the insurgency, a charge Islamabad denies saying it only provides diplomatic support to the Kashmiri struggle for right to self-determination.

Almost 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian military crackdown.

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