Those slain were local cadres of the region's indigenous militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen and included commander Saddam Paddar, his close aide and newly recruited Mohammad Rafi Bhat, an assistant professor in the sociology department of Kashmir University on contractual basis.
Top Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Saddam Padder is also believed to be among the slain terrorists but police officials said it can only be confirmed after ascertaining the identity of the bodies.
Sources said over a dozen protesters were injured in clashes near the encounter site. He was reportedly martyred by the Indian security personnel at the Badgam area of Shopian, almost 80km from his house.
Vaid said they repeatedly asked the militants to surrender.
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The authorities have imposed restrictions in various areas of Srinagar including Maharaj Gunj, Safa Kadal, Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari and Kralkhud to prevent anti-India protests with internet services suspended in Srinagar and other parts of the territory.
As the security forces took on the militants, a large number of civilians poured out of their homes to attack the security personnel with stones.
A resident of Chundina area in central Kashmir's Ganderbal district, Bhat, who was married, went missing around 3.30pm on Friday. Senior police officer SP Pani claimed that his forces had made several attempts to persuade the professor to surrender and even brought his family from Ganderbal, to talk to him, but he didn't agree, reported NDTV.
"I have no words to condemn these killings as mere condemnations every time a civilian is killed isn't enough".
A police spokesman said that the holed up terrorists fired heavily upon the search team of the security forces.
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"It sounds very depressing to note that our state is losing young lives, to the unending cycle of violence, who could otherwise be utilised for a positive contribution to the state. Then, we got the news of his death", said Imtiyaz.
Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) president G A Mir expressed profound grief over the civilian killings.
Meanwhile, separatists called for a strike and march to Civil Secretariat? the seat of Jammu and Kashmir government? tomorrow.
Separatist leaders said Sunday that the shutdown would continue, but did not specify how long.
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