SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- At least two civilians were killed in two different incidents in Indian-controlled Kashmir, reigniting the anger and ongoing uncertainty in the restive region, officials said Wednesday.
A civilian was killed and two others wounded, one of them critically, after a policeman posted as a security guard with a civilian official fired on protesters in Lethpora village of Pulwama district, about 23 km south of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.
Following the killing, the angry protesters set ablaze the official vehicle.
"Last evening some protesters had blocked highway at Lethpora and tried to stop an official vehicle. However, a policeman inside the vehicle fired upon them, killing one and wounding two others," an eyewitness said.
Police officials said the policeman feared for his life and fired to scare away the protesters.
"After the incident, the official, policeman and driver abandoned the vehicle and fled from the spot to take refuge at a nearby paramilitary camp," a police official posted in Awantipora town said. "The three men have been detained and will be questioned."
The fresh killing triggered overnight protests in the area.
In another incident, a guard posted at a bank automated teller machine (ATM) was found dead. Police officials described his death "mysterious".
Local media quoting autopsy reports Wednesday said the guard was hit by barrage of pellets. His killing triggered massive protests in the area. Locals defied curfew restrictions and carried his body to 'martyrs' graveyard situated at Eid Gah locality in Srinagar.
Muslim majority areas of Indian-controlled Kashmir have been experiencing a curfew and protest shutdown for the past since 26 days.
Shops, businesses, educational institutions and offices remained closed in the region in the wake of shutdown and restrictions. Traffic has also remained off the roads. The locals are complaining about dearth of eatables and essentials in most of the towns including Srinagar city. Health officials said they were also experiencing shortage of medicines.
Protests in the region broke out following the killing of a top militant commander of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) Burhan Muzaffar Wani, along with his two associates, on July 8. The 22-year-old Wani was poster boy of HM, region's indigenous militant outfit.
Wani's killing triggered violent protests and clashes after which authorities imposed curfew. Police firing on civilian protesters defying restrictions has so far resulted in killing of more than 50 people, mostly teenagers and young, besides injuring over 2,200.
The cellphone and internet services continue to remain suspended in the region since July 8 in a bid to prevent people from mobilizing.
The local government has placed key separatist leaders under house arrest fearing their participation in demonstrations would intensify anti-India protests and mobilize people in large numbers. The protests have been going on unabated ever since the protests broke out and mosques dotting the localities often blare with songs praising militants and advocating Kashmir's secession from India.
Prior to this, in 2010, a similar wave of violence hit the region and claimed over 100 lives during clashes that continued for months together.
A separatist movement and guerrilla war challenging New Delhi's rule is going on in Indian-controlled Kashmir since 1989.
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.