A police officer was shot dead by a security guard at a temple in Kashmir’s Kupwara district after the latter assumed him to be an “anti-national element”, Greater Kashmir reported. The attack took place when the officer was trying to forcefully enter the temple late on Tuesday night, the police claimed.

The police officer, identified as Ajay Dhar, succumbed to bullet injuries while undergoing treatment.

“Despite firing in the air [by the guard], he [Dhar] kept banging the door without revealing his identity,” Kashmir Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar said, according to NDTV. “It’s a clear case of mistaken identity as the sentry assumed it was an attack.”

In a statement, the police said it was an unfortunate incident.

According to the initial investigation, Dhar had earphones plugged in when he was trying to enter the temple and could not hear his colleagues. Since he did not respond, the security guard on duty at the temple fired at him, Greater Kashmir reported.