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Indian Army vs Mehbooba Mufti as clashes erupt on 'civilian' killings

Indian Army vs Mehbooba Mufti as clashes erupt on 'civilian' killings

Government forces responded with tear gas. An alliance of separatist groups resisting Indian rule called for widespread protests.

The trouble began late Sunday night, when officials say a auto refused to stop at a checkpoint outside a Shopian military base and militants inside fired at the soldiers.

"Militants travelling in a vehicle fired upon army personnel who retaliated by firing several shots, leading to a brief exchange of fire".

While Malik died at the encounter site, Bhat's body was found in an apple orchard in Saidpura village on Monday morning, the Army said. Authorities said he was injured in the shooting and died later.

While the army called them "over-the-ground workers or accomplices" of the militants travelling in a Maruti Swift vehicle, the locals said they were just civilians.

Hurriyat chairman said "as no responsibility is fixed for these killings and their is no accountability, the highly worrisome reality is that the lives of the people of Kashmiris is perpetually at great risk as they are the mercy of the forces".

Amid conflicting versions from the Army, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and the victim families on Monday, there were widespread protests, a clampdown by security forces and a shutdown. "Many people don't understand why we are fighting a lost battle".

Pulwama: The villagers of Pinjoora and Pahnoo areas on Tuesday held massive protests and demanded the removal of the army camp located in Pinjoora. Internet connectivity in south Kashmir was suspended while its speed was curbed at other places in the Valley. In major parts of the Srinagar city as well as major towns and villages of the Valley, restriction have been imposed. No one was reported injured.

Media reports said there were dozens of clashes involving stone-pelting erupted in Shopian.

Indian troops are covered by controversial powers that shield them from prosecution while serving in Indian-controlled Kashmir. "The search operation was started in the area while an alert was also sounded." he added.

Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chief Yasin Malik was arrested from here on Monday during a protest march against the killings.

Kashmir, the Himalayan region divided between India and Pakistan, is claimed by both in full. Since their independence from Britain, the two countries have fought three wars, two exclusively over Kashmir.

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