Militants shot dead two security men and critically injured another, striking at two places in the heart of Srinagar minutes before a district Congress convention was to begin at a local hotel.
The militants fired from a close range on the CRPF men deployed outside Pamposh Hotel, the venue of the meet, at around 11.25 am, critically wounding two of them, CRPF spokesman Prabhkar Tripathy said.
One of them, belonging to 132 Battalion of the paramilitary force, succumbed to injuries while the condition of the other, who was shot on the head, is critical.
The militants fled the spot after the attack, which triggered panic among shopkeepers in the nearby Regal Chowk and Residency Road, prompting them to pull down their shutters and rush to safety.
Within minutes, militants also struck outside the headquarters of state fire services and shot at a constable of Jammu and Kashmir police Shafeeq Ahmad. He was rushed to a hospital, where he died, police said.
Security was beefed up in view of the convention which was to be addressed by JKPCC President Saifuddin Soz, Congress sources said.