SRINAGAR (Agencies) - Eight people were killed while more than a dozen including a key Kashmiri leader were injured Friday when Indian police fired bullets and teargas to disperse thousands of protesting Kashmiris. The shooting took place in Shopian town just south of Srinagar where several thousand worshippers demonstrated after  Friday prayers. "I saw several people falling down when forces fired indiscriminately," witness Muzamil Ahmad said. Thousands of police were deployed across areas of the state to control the protests called by freedom movement activists in the region. A committee spearheading recent demonstrations had called on people to take to the streets after midday prayers. Heeding the call, thousands including women and children came out on the streets of Srinagar chanting, "We want freedom" and "Allah is greatest." They marched to the residence of JKLF leader, Yasin Malik, and brought him out of the security-ringed compound where he was under house arrest. Police made no attempt to stop the protesters, who carried Malik shoulder-high. But as he started to address the crowd, police fired teargas and used batons to disperse the protesters, witnesses said. Authorities said Malik, who has a pacemaker, was hurt in the police action along with 11 others. "We have rushed him to a hospital as he fell unconscious but he is now in stable condition," a police told AFP. Last Friday, thousands of Muslims held sit-in protests against Indian rule outside mosques in Srinagar. Meanwhile, at least five suspected freedom fighters were killed in separate encounters in Indian-occupied Kashmir, officials claimed. The Indian Army said three freedom fighters belonging to the Harkatul Jehadi Islami were killed in a gunbattle in the southern district of Kishtwar, some 230km east of Jammu. "Arms and ammunition including rifles, grenades and explosive material was recovered from the scene," Army spokesman Lt-Col SD Goswami said. In another encounter, two freedom fighters were killed by security forces in Kishtwar, near the Line of Control. Police claimed the dead freedom fighters were part of a group that was trying to enter into the Indian side to carry out attacks.