Militants on Saturday shot dead a policeman in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said, evoking condemnations from mainstream political parties in the Valley.

J-K Police head constable Ali Mohammad Ganie was fired upon by militants near his residence at Hasanpora in the Tabala area of Bijbehara, Anantnag, a police spokesman said.

He said Ganie was shifted to a hospital in critical condition where he succumbed.

The martyred official was posted at Police Station Kulgam. We pay our rich tributes to the martyr and stand by his family at this critical juncture, the spokesman said.

Police have registered a case and started an investigation, he said.

He said police officers are working to establish the full circumstances of this terror crime, adding the area has been cordoned and search is going on.

Political parties and leaders condemned the attack.

National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and party vice president Omar Abdullah condemned the killing of the policeman.

Violence in any of its manifestations is always unacceptable and will yield nothing except further death and destruction. The vicious cycle of death has caused much loss to human lives in J-K while devastating the socio-economic conditions of the people during the last over three decades. It is high time for such incidents to be stopped now. My heartfelt sympathies are with the bereaved family, Farooq Abdullah said.

Omar Abdullah tweeted, Very sorry to hear about the death in the line of duty of HC Ali Mohd Ganie. I unreservedly condemn this attack while at the same time sending my heartfelt condolences to his family & loved ones. Allah Jannat naseeb karey, Ameen.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said the people of J-K are victims of a senseless cycle of violence .

Deepest condolences to his family & loved ones. People of J&K are victims of this senseless cycle of violence that keeps claiming innocent lives, she said on Twitter.

People's Conference chairman Sajad Lone termed the attackers as cowardly violent thugs .

Yet another gruesome act of senseless violence. Ali Mohd Ganai of JK police falls to the bullets of cowardly violent thugs. Salute his sacrifice, Lone said in a tweet.

Apni Party president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari also strongly condemned the killing of the policeman and termed the attack as cowardly and extremely heart-wrenching.

Bukhari asserted that violence holds no space or legitimacy in any civilised society.

Such acts have only worsened the collective situation in Jammu and Kashmir for a long time now.

How many innocent lives have to be further sacrificed and how many homes are still destined to be devastated? These radical forces have only added to the woes of the people and there needs to be an end to this senseless violence once for all. I utterly condemn this despicable attack and extend my deep sympathies to the family of the slain cop, he said.

Bukhari said one more family has today lost its bread-winner to the reprehensible cycle of bloodshed .

He urged the government to disburse adequate ex-gratia to the family of the slain policeman besides putting forth efforts to impede such heinous acts preemptively so that no precious lives are lost.

The BJP's J-K unit also condemned the attack.

BJP general secretary, organisation, Ashok Koul termed the killing as barbaric and a cowardly act which has no place in a civilised society.

The act deserves strong condemnation by all without any caste, creed or religion, Koul said.

He also expressed grief with the bereaved family.

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