SRINAGAR: The bullet-riddled body of a 22 -year-old youth, who was abducted from his residence in the restive south Kashmir region, was recovered on Friday morning, police said.

Officials said the deceased identified as Shamim Ahmad Patloo, a resident of Arwani in Bijbehara of Anantnag district, was found in an orchard in Kujjar village by some locals who alerted the police.

Sources said Shamim was allegedly abducted by unidentified gunmen on Wednesday from his house after which his family had alerted the police. A missing complaint was also reportedly lodged in a police station.

"There are multiple injuries as well as bullet markings on the body of the deceased which has been sent for a post-mortem examination. A case of murder has been lodged and further investigations are on," a senior police officer said.

The incident comes a day after a man was shot in the adjoining Shopian district by unidentified gunmen. Muhammad Amin Bhat, a resident of Chermarg village in south Kashmir, was later rushed to a hospital after gunmen fired at him and later managed to escape.

Although no group has claimed responsibility for the two attacks, police in Kashmir has blamed them on militant outfits.

South Kashmir districts of Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama are the epicentre of the civil uprising that erupted in Kashmir following the killing of Hizb commander Burhan Wani onJuly 8 in an encounter in Kokernag village.

Two days back, the purported successor of Wani, Zakir Ahmad, released a video in which he appealed the youth to snatch weapons from government gunmen and "join the ongoing struggle to liberate Kashmir from Indian rule".

According to officials, at least 60 rifles have been snatched from government gunmen in the last four months of uprising during which two cops were also killed, sparking fears of a renewed insurgency in the troubled valley.

Police sources said nearly 100 youths may have joined militant groups since the uprising during which at least 94 civilians were shot dead in retaliatory action against protesters by government forces.

Meanwhile, security has been beefed up in Srinagar and other sensitive towns of Kashmir amid fears of protests breaking out following Friday prayers. Police sources said additional forces have been deployed to prevent any "untoward incident".

(Representational photo by BASIT ZARGAR)