Jammu and Kashmir’s Director General (Prisons) Hemant K Lohia, one of the country’s senior-most IPS officers, was found dead at his official residence on Monday night. The police said he was strangled before his neck was slit by a broken ketchup bottle. He was also set on fire. The door of the room was locked from the inside.
The police suspect that Jasir, his domestic help, is involved in the murder. He is absconding. A manhunt had been launched to nab the domestic help.
Director General of Police Dilbag Singh described the incident as “extremely unfortunate”.
Lohia was a 1992-batch IPS officer. He was promoted and appointed as Director General of prisons in the Union Territory in August. He had had a three-decade-long illustrious career. He once stalled a suicide attack at Srinagar’s Lal Chowk. He took part in various anti-terror operations before he was appointed as DG of the prison. Lohia was known for striking terror in the hearts of terrorists.
Giving details, Singh told PTI that the suspect had even attempted to set ablaze the body of 57-year-old Lohia, who was promoted and appointed as Director General of Prisons in the Union Territory in August.
A preliminary examination of the crime scene indicated that Lohia must have been applying some oil on his foot which showed swelling. The killer suffocated Lohia to death and also used a broken ketchup bottle to slit his throat and later tried to set the body afire, he said.
The guards present at the residence of the officer saw the fire inside his room. They had to break open the door as it was locked from inside, the Additional Director General of Police, Jammu zone, Mukesh Singh, said.
Though it isn’t clear why he was murdered, the police haven’t ruled out the terror angle. TRF, a terror group, has allegedly taken responsibility for the alleged murder on social media. The police haven’t yet confirmed their involvement.
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