Militants fired at the vehicle of Gulam Nabi Patel in Rajpora Chowk of Pulwama, injuring him and his guards, a police officer said. "The spokesperson offered deepest condolences to bereaved family of Ghulam Nabi Patel and sympathized with them", Congress said in the statement.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti termed the killing an act of cowardice that will only leave one more family devastated.
"How tragic that Patel Sahib, a political worker assassinated by militants in Kashmir is being disowned by both the PDP & Congress".
Patel had recently returned from Jammu and was shot dead by gunmen at Rajpora in Pulwama district.
The injured were evacuated to nearby hospital, where Patel succumbed to his injuries.He said condition of the two PSOs identified as Imtiyaz Ahmad Zargar and Bilal Ahmad Mir is stated to be stable.After the shoot-out, police and paramilitary personnel laid siege around the area to nab the assailants, however, no arrests were reported. He was rushed to a hospital nearby where he was referred to another hospital in Srinagar for specialised treatment.
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Mir said Patel had contested election on Congress ticket in 2002 but left the party to contest as an independent in 2008. It added that killings in any form "are highly condemnable and must be condemned by every section of the people".
Security forces and state police launched a massive search to apprehend the gunmen.
Mainstream ruling and opposition parties condemned Patel's killing.
Former chief minister Omar Abdullah expressed his condolences and regretted the state of affairs in Jammu and Kashmir.
Amid the denial game, Pulwama BJP chief Master Abdul Gani claimed Patel had joined his party two years ago but had not been holding any post. "Allah Jannat naseeb karay".