Kashmir Valley remained on edge for a second day as the death toll reached 17 on Sunday following protests over the killing of the Hizbul Mujhaideen commander Burhan Wani.
Clashes broke out between locals and security forces as news of Wani’s death on Friday spread, with 12 people dying in the violence on Saturday.
By Sunday midday, five more died, including a policeman, either during fresh clashes or sustained injuries.
“Curfew has been imposed in the entire Valley to maintain law and order,” additional director general of police, Crime Investigation Department, SM Sahai told Hindustan Times.
Sahai said that 14 youth had died due to bullet or pellet injuries, one drowned while being chased by police and another died when his car turned over during the violence.
According to a police spokesman based in Srinagar, a policeman was feared dead after he was pushed into water along with his vehicle by mob in Anantnag area in South Kashmir. The incident took place near sangam in river Jehlum
Heavy security presence was deployed through the Valley, with southern districts of Pulwama, Anantnag and Kulgam being the worst hit. A blackout on mobile services also continued.
Reports said that more than 200 people, including 100 security personnel, were injured since Friday. Of these, 70 were admitted in various hospitals with critical bullet or pellet injuries, sources added.
Three policemen and their service weapons were also missing in the chaos, though two of them were traced by Sunday afternoon, Sahai said.
Mobs wreaked havoc as Wani’s funeral was underway at his hometown in Tral on Saturday, setting fire to three police installations. Three civil administration offices, the house of an MLA from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, several vehicles and a BJP office were also targeted.
Normal life remained paralysed as shops, private offices, business establishments and petrol pumps were shut, while government offices and banks witnessed thin attendance, officials said.
Public transport was also pulled off the roads completely, while cars and auto-rickshaws were seen plying at few places where there were no restrictions.
Though most educational institutions were closed on account of summer vacations, the Kashmir term one examinations for standard 11 were postponed.
Separatists had called for a shutdown in protest of civilians getting hurt and being killed, extending the strike to Monday. Separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, also remained under house arrest while Mohammad Yasin Malik was also under preventive detention.
The suspension of the Amarnath Yatra from Jammu, which was called on Saturday, continued as well.
Wani and two other militants were killed on Friday when security forces cornered them in Kokernag area of Anantnag.
According to reports, Wani had influenced scores and recruited many in the past few years through slick social media posts and videos. At present, reports indicate that 140 militants are active in the Valley, 90 of whom are locals. Intelligence reports say the majority of these local recruits – around 60 – are from South Kashmir.
(With inputs from agencies)