Two workers of National Conference (NC) were killed and another injured after unknown gunmen fired upon them from close range at Habakadal area in downtown Srinagar on Friday.
Locals said at around 11:30 am, they heard some gunfire at Karfali Mohalla of Habakadal.
Police said militants fired on three NC workers in the area from close range.
The injured trio were shifted to nearby SMHS hospital, where two of them were declared brought dead by the doctors.
The deceased were identified as Nazir Ahmad Wani son of Ghulam Mohammad Wani of Kani Kadal and Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat son of Ghulam Mohammad Bhat of Pamposh Colony Noorbagh.
The injured NC worker was identified as Shakeel Ahmad Zangoo of Karfali Mohalla.
The doctors attended on him termed his condition as stable.
After the incident, police and paramilitary personnel cordoned the area to nab the attackers. However, no arrest was made.
Sources said the three NC workers were busy in discussion near a meat shop run by Zangoo in the narrow allay of Karfali Mohallah when militants fired on them.
Locals said Wani and Bhat were close aides of MLA Habakadal, Shameema Firdous and former worked in her office as personal assistant.
They said the injured NC worker is working as block president of NC in Habakadal area.
Locals said both the deceased were ex-militants.
“They (Wani and Bhat) were commanders of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen. The duo has spent many years in jail. And joined NC few years back after their release,” they said.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Central Kashmir, Vidhi Kumar Birdi confirmed that Wani and Bhat were active in militancy between 1999 to 2005.
He said it was premature to say which militant outfit was behind their killing. “Investigation will reveal it all.”
DIG said police would be collecting evidence related to the incident.
“Eyewitness will also be questioned,” he said.
Another police officer said preliminary investigation reveals that the attack was carried out by bike-borne militants.
“As per the preliminary details, two motorcycle-borne gunmen appeared near the meat shop and fired at the trio before fleeing from the scene,” he said.
The attack came three days ahead of Urban Local Bodies (ULB) elections in the state.
The forces have intensified frisking at many locations in Srinagar and other parts of Valley to check the movement of militants.
Over 600 companies of para military forces have been deployed in Valley for smooth conduct of the ULB and panchayat polls beginning Monday.