Suspected militants killed a personal security officer of National Conference leader Syed Tauqeer Shah in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Sunday, Greater Kashmir reported. Shah was in a meeting at the home of a party worker in Hillad village when the assailants broke in and opened fire at policemen guarding the leader.

“In the incident, a selection grade constable Reyaz Ahmad Khan alias Shaka of Newa Pulwama suffered critical bullet injuries,” the newspaper quoted an unidentified official as saying. “He was taken to sub-district hospital Kokernag. The doctors there referred him to district hospital Anantnag but he succumbed to his injuries on way to the hospital.” The district hospital’s Medical Superintendent Dr Majeed Mehrab said Khan was shot in the chest and was dead by the time he was brought to the hospital.

A case has been registered in the incident. “Officers are investigating the circumstances of this terror crime,” Hindustan Times quoted a police spokesperson as saying. Shah is a former principal and district session judge, and voluntarily retired from the services this year to join the National Conference. He is in charge of the Breng-Kokernag Assembly constituency for the party.

“My colleague from Kokernag in South Kashmir Judge (retired) Tauqeer Sb was just attacked by militants,” National Conference leader Omar Abdullah tweeted. “While he escaped unhurt his security officer was hit and killed in the line of duty. I unreservedly condemn this dastardly attack and convey my condolences to the family of the deceased.”

A police spokesperson said senior officers paid respects to Khan at a wreath laying ceremony. “Senior police officers including DIG [Deputy Inspector General of Police] SKR, SSP [Senior Superintendent of Police] Anantnag, and other police officers laid floral wreaths on the mortal remains and paid rich tributes to the deceased for the supreme sacrifice made in the line of duty.”