SRINAGAR: In further deterioration of the tense situation, a former government-backed militiaman and a young political activist were shot dead on Sunday by unidentified gunmen in Kashmir Valley, evoking widespread condemnation.

The first incident took place in the restive south Kashmir's Shopian district where unidentified gunmen opened indiscriminate fire outside a mosque, hitting Imtiyaz Ahmad Khan who was returning home after offering evening prayers.

Khan, a worker of the National Conference party, was rushed to a nearby hospital where doctors declared him brought dead due to multiple bullet injuries. He worked as a public prosecutor in the previous NC-Congress coalition government.

Former Chief Minister and NC's working president, Omar Abdullah condemned the killing on Twitter, " The ugly dance of death continues in the valley. My unqualified condemnation of this attack & sincere condolences to Khan Sahib's family," he tweeted.

Hours later, unidentified gunmen barged into the residence of a former militiaman, Abdul Rashid alias Rashid Billa, who was facing trial in the infamous Saderkoot Massacre and was declared as 'untraceable' by police.

The incident took place in Hajin village of north Kashmir's Bandipora district. Police sources said a burst of gunfire hit him on head, killing him on the spot. He was being investigated for allegedly killing seven civilians in one raid at the peak of insurgency in early nineties.

This is the third incident of political killing in the Valley in less than two days even as the security agencies have been put on a high alert following heightened militant activities, especially in south Kashmir which was the epicentre of last year's bloodied uprising.

With militants targeting political workers as well as policemen, the Director General of J&K Police, SP Vaid, yesterday issued an advisory, asking the police personnel hailing from south Kashmir, not to visit their homes at least for next month.

"J&K Police personnel advised to avoid visiting home for next few months. Advisory cites 'attempt to damage life/property in recent months'," ANI news agency reported yesterday, adding that policemen should exercise "extreme caution" while going home.

Meanwhile, following public outcry over the video of a youth used as a human shield by the army on the polling day, the J&K police has registered a case against the Army.

"An FIR Vide No. 38/17 US 342/149/506 and 367 RPC has been registered against the Army at police station Beerwah in Budgam district. Investigation is being conducted by SDPO Magam," sources said.

(Cover Photograph BASIT ZARGAR: Media takes a hit while covering the ongoing violence in Kashmir)