SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir Police have detained over 600 civilian protesters from different parts of the Valley in a move to curb protests that have swept the region following the killing of Hizb commander Burhan Wani.

A police spokesman said 349 accused persons have been arrested in the Valley by the force "in its continuous drive against hooligans and miscreants.” However, sources put the number at over 600 with maximum arrests made from the volatile south Kashmir region.

Nocturnal protests have been breaking out in different parts of the Valley with men, women and children, shouting slogans, marching on the roads carrying placards and singing songs eulogizing the Hizb commander.

At many places, effigies of mainstream political leaders have been burnt as a mark of protest. In south Kashmir’s Kulgam last evening, forces pounced on a rally comprising of young and old, men and women, who were peacefully marching to protest the spate of civilian killings.

Witness said the forces resorted to tear gas and pellet shelling, and also fired in the air, during which over 100 protesters were wounded. “At least two dozen patients were admitted in various districts hospitals with pellet injuries of which five with eye injuries were referred to Srinagar for specialized treatment,” an officer in the state’s health department told The Citizen.

According to the officer, the number of injured in the ongoing civil uprising has crossed 5000, including security personnel, since the killing of Burhan Wani and his two associates in an encounter with security forces on July 8.

While the authorities have imposed curfew across the Valley to curb the protests, the strategy is seemingly failing as Kashmir remains tense on the 27th day in the wake of the ongoing unrest even as a massive crackdown has been launched against "troublemakers".

A senior police officer said most of the main towns across the Valley, including the summer capital Srinagar, continue to remain under curfew while the separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik have been either detained or jailed.

“Anantnag, Shopian, Pulwama and six police station areas of Srinagar are under curfew while restrictions under Section 144 have been imposed in other parts of the Valley to prevent any law and order problems,” the police officer said.

(Photograph Basit Zargar)