wani kashmir pai kashmir encounter militancy anantnag pulwama militancy J&K india army terror valley protests firing clashes
[Representational Image]IANS

Violent protests on Saturday in Kashmir over Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Muzaffar Wani's killing by security forces in Anantnag district have left eight persons dead and several injured. Three policemen are missing.

While seven protesters were killed in "retaliatory firing" by security forces, one person died of drowning when he was trying to escape police firing, the Hindustan Times quoted local police intelligence chief Shiv M Sahai as saying.

On Friday, Wani and two other terrorists were killed in an encounter when Rashtriya Rifles (RR), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Jammu and Kashmir Police carried out a joint operation, reports ANI.

His death on Friday afternoon led to a call for complete shutdown in the Kashmir Valley by Syed Ali Geelani, member of the separatist organisation All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), besides a plea to turn up in large numbers for Wani's funeral. 

Wani, who carried a bounty of Rs. 10 lakh on his head, hailed from Dadsara village in south Kashmir's Tral area. Wani left his home five years ago to Hizbul Mujahideen even before completing his Class X examinations. He had released a video warning the J&K police of violent attacks, ANI said.

He was reportedly known for his ability to sway young Kashmiris on social media such as WhatsApp and Facebook to join militant groups. However, his death will end up pushing more Kashmiris towards militancy, according to former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah.

His funeral procession was attended by large number of people and his body, wrapped in a Pakistani flag, was buried next to that of his brother Khalid, also killed in the crossfire between militants and security forces last year. At the burial ground in  Tral, the people chanted,  "Tum kitney Burhan maroge, har ghar se burhan nikley ga" (How many Burhans will you kill, every house in Kashmir will produce one), reported the Hindustan Times.

Mobile internet services have been suspended in the Jammu region as a precautionary measure and the Jammu-Srinigar national highway was closed. While new batches of Amarnath yatris (pilgrims) from Srinagar were not allowed to go to Jammu, those at the base camps were given permission to continue with their pilgrimage.

"The yatra will be restored after the violence has abated. We will ensure the safety of the yatris," the Hindustan Times quoted Sahai as saying.