Srinagar, July 11: The death toll in the clashes between protesters and security forces in Kashmir mounted to 23, as normal life remained paralysed for the third day today in the Valley due to curfew-like restrictions and separatists- sponsored strike in the wake of the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter on Friday.
"Two persons have died in an incident of violence in Kulgam district yesterday and have been identified as Feroze Ahmad Mir (22) and Khursheed Ahmad Mir (38)," a police official said.
He said the information about the death of these youth was not available yesterday due "inadequate" communication facilities in south Kashmir district. Mobile telephony has been suspended in the four districts of south Kashmir since Friday evening as violent protests erupted following killing of Wani in an encounter with security forces.
With these, the death toll in the clashes between protesters and security forces has gone up to 23, including a policeman. More than 250 persons have been injured in the violence and the situation continues to be tense across the Valley.
Curfew-like restrictions continued to be in place in many parts of the Valley including parts of Srinagar city, where the first death in the clashes occurred last evening.
Authorities have strengthened the presence of security forces in vulnerable areas of the city and elsewhere in the Valley to contain the protests, a police official said. He said the restrictions were being enforced strictly today to avoid any further loss of life or damage to property.
Mobile internet services continued to remain suspended for since Saturday while normal life remained affected due to the strike called by the separatists groups. Shops, private offices, business establishments and petrol pumps were shut, while government offices and banks witnessed thin attendance, officials said.
Public transport was completely off the roads while private cars and auto-rickshaws were seen plying at few places in the areas where there were no restrictions, they said.
Educational institutions in the Valley were closed on account of the ongoing summer vacations, while Central University of Kashmir (CUK), Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) and Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (JKBOSE) have postponed the examinations due to the prevailing situation.
Most of the separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik, are either in custody or under house arrest.