Senior IPS officer Hemant Kumar Lohia, posted as Director General of Police (Prisons) was found dead at a house in the Udaywala area of Jammu late on Monday night, police said today. A 1992-batch IPS officer, 57-year-old Lohia was found dead with burn injuries on his body and his throat slit. Police say that Lohia’s domestic help, believed to be the key suspect, has been arrested. The house where Lohia’s body was found belongs to his friend, reports said. Lohia, 57, was appointed Director General of Prisons (J&K) in August.
According to Mukesh Singh, Additional Director General of Police, Jammu zone, the key accused, identified as Yasir Ahmed, was arrested today after a major manhunt by J&K police throughout the night, and interrogation of the accused has begun.
The officer had earlier said that the domestic help went absconding and a search for him had been launched. The ADGP further confirmed that the first examination of the scene of crime has revealed the incident as a suspected murder case. “The domestic help with the officer is absconding. A search for him has started,” he had said earlier, adding forensic and crime teams are on the spot.
Meanwhile, a terror group, People’s Anti-Fascist Front (PAFF), has claimed responsibility for the murder. The police, however, said that the probe so far has not revealed any terror link and further investigations are underway.
“The investigation process has begun. Senior officers are on spot,” the ADGP said.
The key suspect, identified as Yasir Ahmed, was hired by the officer six months ago. According to Jammu and Kashmir DGP Dilbag Singh, Lohia had been staying at his friend’s house for the past few days. “After having dinner, he went back to his room. The domestic helper was inside his room on the pretext of helping him with some ailment,” he said.
“The helper then latched the door from inside & attacked him several times with a sharp weapon, also tried to suffocate him. The accused as per history is an aggressive, unstable person. His pictures have been issued in the media and a hunt for him is on,” the DGP added.
The murder of the senior officer coincides with Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to the union territory on a three-day visit. Shah arrived in Jammu on Monday accompanied by senior minister Jitendra Singh and officials of the MHA. Shah is scheduled to visit Rajouri and address a public rally. Next on his schedule for the day is a visit to Baramulla where he is scheduled to address another rally.
Shah will also chair a security review meeting which will be attended by the Lt Governor, senior officers of local police and central armed police forces (CAPFs) and officers of intelligence agencies of the UT and the Centre. He will also lay the foundation of many developmental works, including a convention complex in Jammu city.
The Lt Governor is hosting a dinner for the home minister on Tuesday evening. Shah will fly back to Delhi on October 5.
(With agency inputs)