Residents of a village in Indian-controlled Kashmir say a young college teacher has been killed while he was in the custody of the Indian army after soldiers picked up dozens of villagers from their homes in the Himalayan region.

Villagers said army soldiers and police raided Khrew village late Wednesday and took Shabir Ahmed and around 30 other people into custody.

They handed over Ahmed's body to his family early Thursday, villagers said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they feared reprisals. A police official confirmed Ahmed's death and said the cause of his death was being investigated.

At least 62 people have died in daily protests and clashes with police and army soldiers in Kashmir since government troops killed a popular rebel leader nearly six weeks ago.