Srinagar: A BJP leader, his brother and father were shot dead by terrorists in the heart of Bandipora town of North Kashmir on Wednesday night, prompting the Jammu and Kashmir authorities to arrest seven policemen for alleged negligence in protecting him, officials said.

The incident took place at the shop-cum-residence of BJP leader Sheikh Waseem Bari, earlier district president of the party, where some motorcycle-borne terrorists attacked the three from a close range with a silencer-fitted revolver, they said.

The place of incident is barely 10 metres away from the main police station, they said.

J&K Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh said Bari and his family members were at the shop when the terrorists fired at them. The trio was shifted to the district hospital in a critical condition where they succumbed to their injuries.

Besides Bari, his brother Umar and father Bashir Ahmad were killed in the firing, police said.

Ten policemen assigned to the security of Bari and his family have been arrested for alleged negligence in protecting Bari, police said.

Union Minister Jitendra Singh tweeted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi enquired about the killing and offered his condolences to the family.

In a late-night statement, the J&K Police said, “Ten policemen were deployed for his (Bari’s) security but none was kept along by him at the time of incident… Officers continue to work to establish the full circumstances of this terror crime besides why he was without any security… The men deployed for his security are being detained for negligence under (the) police Act.”

Former chief minister Omar Abdullah expressed his condolences over the incident. "I condemn the attack. My condolences to their families in this time of grief. Sadly the violent targeting of mainstream political workers continues unabated,” he tweeted.

Former Bandipora MLA Usman Majid condemned the incident and demanded a thorough probe into the alleged deteriorating law and order situation in the Kashmir valley.

"How can terrorists comes so close and hit their target which is barely 10 metres away from the police station in the town," an agitated Majid, who is a founder leader of JK Apni Party, said.

He said he would take up the matter with the Lt Governor of Jammu and Kashmir after consultations with his party leadership.

Former MLC and senior BJP leader of the union territory Surinder Ambardar said, "It is very unfortunate that Pakistan's frustration is visible by destabilizing the democratic institutions whereas the BJP has made its visible imprints in the Kashmir valley.”

The Congress and the PDP also condemned the incident.

"Distraught at the recurring spate of killing of political workers in Kashmir. While we express our unconditional sympathies with the family, the administration has squarely failed in ensuring adequate security arrangements amid deteriorating security conditions," the PDP tweeted.