Shops, other businesses and private offices in Kashmir observed a complete shutdown on Friday to protest the killing of two civilians in Srinagar’s Hyderpora area, The Hindu reported. The shutdown was observed a day after authorities exhumed the bodies of the two civilians and handed them over to their families.

The bodies of the two men were initially buried by the administration in Handwara town, about 100 kilometres from their hometown in Srinagar. On Thursday night, the families buried the bodies in local graveyards, according to The Hindu.

Widespread protests sparked off in Kashmir after hardware shop owner Mohammad Altaf Bhat and dentist-turned-entrepreneur Mudasir Gul were killed in a gunfight during an operation carried out by security forces on Monday at a commercial complex in Srinagar’s Hyderpora.

The police had first claimed that Bhat and Gul were shot dead by militants, but later said they might have died in a crossfire during the anti-militancy operation.

The families of the two men held protests demanding that their bodies should be handed over to them. Many political leaders, including former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti also held demonstrations.

The All Parties Hurriyat Conference had called upon people to observe a shutdown on Friday. In a statement, the organisation said that most of the leaders or political activists, who could have protested the deaths in gunfight, were either in jail or under house arrest.

People stayed indoors and very few vehicles plied on the roads on Friday. Heavy deployment of security forces was done to prevent violation of law and order, the Kashmirwalla reported.