A senior police officer in Pulwama said, "We are investigating all angles including rumours that the victim had converted to Christianity and that may well be a reason behind his killing."
Mr Bhat's father-in-law, Wali Mohammad said, "They were four people in uniform wearing masks. My daughter was accompanying him. She was pushed back and they told her they want to talk him."
This area in South Kashmir is infested with highly militancy. Most locals are scared to even speak about the incident, but some suspect that Mr Bhat had converted to Christianity a few years ago. A police officer told NDTV that there were rumours that he was doing evangelist work, which had made him vulnerable.
This is the seventh civilian killing by suspected militants in the past five weeks in the valley, the last killing happened in Sopore area of North Kashmir on June 14.
Police claims Mr Bhat had no affiliations with any political party nor had any links with the security agencies. But in a place where perceptions are more important that reality, the Pulwama village head has become another victim of faceless violence in Kashmir.