A lecturer at a government college has died and 18 others injured in fresh clashes between security forces and protestors during a search operation in Pulwama district of Kashmir.

According to locals clashes broke out when some residents opposed search operations by security forces looking for youths suspected to be behind recent protests in the area. A police report on the incident says 30 year old Shabir Ahmed Monga, a contractual lecturer, was grievously injured in the ensuing clashes and later succumbed to his injuries. At least eighteen others also sustained serious injuries and are being treated at a local hospital.

An army official said that all details about clashes in Pulwama were being collected and a statement would be issued later in the week.

A strict curfew remains in force in the entire Srinagar district including Anantnag, Pampore and Pulwama under which Khera comes. Security forces had stepped up vigil after separatists’ called for a march to the United Nations office on Wednesday.

Schools, colleges and private offices remained closed in Srinagar on Thursday, 41 days after curfew was first imposed. Mobile internet and telephone services remain suspended across Kashmir valley, though broadband services were restored on Thursday morning.

Over 66 people have been killed and at least 5000 injured in violent protests in Kashmir after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani on July 8.