By Zahid Rafiq
Kashmir has been observing a complete shutdown on Monday to protest the killing of seven Kashmiri civilians and three militants the previous day.
In Sunday's clashes, 43 others were also wounded in southern Kashmir's Kulgam district.
While the militants were killed in a gunbattle with the Indian forces, the civilian supporters were killed in a blast when they entered the house from where the militants had been fighting.
Indian forces use explosives to blow up the houses from which the militants fight during the gunbattles.
The call for Monday’s shutdown was made by the region’s pro-Independence leadership.
All business establishments, government offices, shops, educational institutions
The Indian authorities imposed curfew-like restrictions in several parts of the region to prevent pro-Independence protests and demonstrations.
Jammu and Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.
Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- two of them over Kashmir.
Also, in Siachen glacier in northern Kashmir, Indian and Pakistani troops have fought intermittently since 1984. A cease-fire came into effect in 2003.
Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.
According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have reportedly been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989.