SRINAGAR  - Security forces in Indian-occupied Kashmir opened fire and killed a protester on Monday during a demonstration by hundreds of residents angry about mid-winter power cuts, police said.

The chief minister of the Muslim-majority region called the incident in northern Boniyar village an “inexcusable use of force” and said five officers had been arrested.

“Swift and exemplary action has followed. Law will now follow course,” Omar Abdullah wrote on Twitter.

A police officer explained to AFP that security forces had opened fire “when unruly protesters hurled stones and tried to storm the main office of National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC).”

One demonstrator died and one was injured, said the officer, asking not to be named.

Protests over electricity - a highly political issue in Held Kashmir - have erupted over the past few days following blackouts because of power-generation problems.

The area of Boniyar place is close to one of the major NHPC-owned power projects, but local villages have faced frequent power cuts.

The shooting sparked more protests with young men burning tyres to block the main highway used by the army to carry supplies to posts along the LoC.