Unknown gunmen shot dead a retired police officer outside a mosque in Srinagar immediately after Friday prayers.
At around 1.45pm, gunmen were waiting outside Masjid Bilal at Batamaloo area, adjacent to commercial hub Lal Chowk.
"As the retired police officer came out of the mosque after performing his prayers, he was shot at. He died on the spot," said Kashmir inspector general of police Shiv Murari Sahai.
The police is yet to ascertain the number of gunmen involved in the incident.
The victim policeman, who retired last year as deputy superintendent of police, was identified as Abdul Hamid Bhat, a resident of Moominabad colony in Batamaloo area.
Eyewitnesses said the bystanders rushed to the spot only to find him dead on the spot. The attack sparked panic in the locality with more reinforcements sent to the area by the police and the CRPF to seal the location and search for the gunmen involved in the attack.
No militant outfit has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Bhat was sub-divisional police officer of the highly volatile old city Maharaj Gunj Police Station during the 2008 street agitation. The police station was a major lock up for stone throwers, picked up during the agitation period.
In October 2009, the police station faced a major allegation from 11 boys, arrested on the charges of stone pelting under FIR No. 95/09 under Section 152, 336, 148, that they were forced into sodomy and it was filmed on mobile phones by the policemen.
The local court took cognizance of the offence and the boys had to undergo medical examination.
The boys, in fact, were arrested on October 27, just a day ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to the state. "Police took them to the court to give testimony. If the police were involved will they take them to the court?" the slain police officer told the Hindustan Times in 2009.
Sources said the police are looking into all possibilities in the killing, including criminal angle and rivalry, besides militancy. A police officer said on the condition of anonymity, "It's Kashmir and the real motive will be known only after investigation is completed."