A suspected militant on Monday shot dead the head of a police station at Chadoura town in the central Kashmir district of Budgam.

Superintendent of Police, Budgam, Mohammad Irshad told The Hindu that sub-Inspector Shabir Ahmad, the Station House Officer at Chadoura, was sitting inside the shop of one Ghulam Mohammad when the suspected militant shot him at almost point-blank range, killing him instantly.

The man who shot the SHO escaped without facing resistance from the rest of the police party. A constable and the shopkeeper, who sustained injuries, were under treatment at a hospital, but were “out of danger,” the SP said.

Mr Irshad said the attacker was later identified as a Pakistani cadre of the Lashkar-e-Taiba while some reports claimed that he was a local guerrilla. Some official sources insisted that a Pulwama-based militant group, which had carried out a number of strikes in the past one year, was responsible.

The SHO, said sources, had an unparalleled operational profile as he had planned and executed over a hundred counterinsurgency operations. “Over a dozen top ranking commanders and many other dreaded militants died in encounters in these operations,” Srinagar SSP Ashiq Bukhari said.