At least two labourers were killed and another injured by terrorists in Kulgam district of South Kashmir, prompting the police to direct that all migrants in the Valley be brought to nearest security camps "immediately" for safety, officials said on Sunday.
This is the third attack on migrants in less than 24 hours and is the latest in a series of shootings targeting civilians in recent weeks. A street vendor from Bihar and a carpenter from Uttar Pradesh were shot dead by the ultras on Saturday evening.
"Terrorists fired indiscriminately upon #NonLocal labourers at Wanpoh area of #Kulgam. In this #terror incident, 02 non-locals were killed and 01 injured," Kashmir zone Police said on its Twitter handle.
It said police and security forces have cordoned off the area.
According to officials, the gunmen entered the rented accommodation of the labourers and fired on them indiscriminately at the Wanpoh area of Kulgam district.
As per sources, three labourers received bullet injuries. Two of them died on the spot.
The deceased have been identified as Raja Reshi Dev and Joginder Reshi Dev, both residents of Bihar. The injured person has been identified as Chun Chun Reshi Dev, CID sources said.
In a message flashed to all district police in the Valley, Inspector General of Police (Kashmir) Vijay Kumar said, "All migrants in your respective jurisdiction should be brought to the nearest police or central paramilitary force or army establishment just now."
"The matter is most urgent," the message to the 10 districts in the Valley said.
The terror attack drew strong condemnation from political parties across the spectrum.
"There are no words strong enough to condemn the repeated barbaric attacks on innocent civilians. My heart goes out to their families because they leave the comforts of their homes to earn a dignified livelihood. Terribly sad," PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti tweeted.
BJP state spokesman Altaf Thakur said the killings were "nothing but pure genocide".
"The gruesome murder of non-locals is nothing but inhuman and shows the frustration of militants," he said.
CPI(M) leader M Y Tarigami said killing innocent labourers who have come here to earn their livelihood is a heinous crime.
"This is aimed at targeting the interests of people of Kashmir and this is happening at a time when the harvesting season is at its peak," he said.
Tarigami said mere condemnation is not enough and it was time for all to come forward and unitedly raise voice against these criminals who are committing such heinous crimes.
"We appeal to civil society, political parties irrespective of their political agenda to raise their voice against such barbaric acts," he added.
Amid the civilian killings, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha had on Sunday vowed to avenge every drop of their blood by hunting down terrorists and their sympathisers.
Sinha said attempts are being made to disrupt the peace and socio-economic progress of Jammu and Kashmir and the individual growth of people, and reiterated the commitment to the fast-paced development of the Union territory.
"I pay my heartfelt tributes to the martyr civilians and condolences to the bereaved families. We'll hunt down terrorists, their sympathisers and avenge every drop of innocent civilians' blood," Sinha said in his monthly radio programme 'Awaam ki Awaaz'.
(with PTI inputs)