Amid Union home minister Amit Shah’s high-profile visit, Jammu and Kashmir DGP (Prisons) Hemant Kumar Lohia was murdered allegedly by his domestic help in Jammu on Monday night, creating ripples in Srinagar and New Delhi.
Yasir Ahmed, the domestic help, has been arrested following a massive manhunt launched soon after the murder.
“In a major manhunt launched by J&K police throughout the night, the accused involved in the murder case of Hemant Lohia has been apprehended. Interrogation of the accused has started,” informed additional director general of police, Jammu, Mukesh Singh.
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) offshoot The Resistance Force (TRF) was quick to claim responsibility for the incident. However, the police have ruled out any terror angle.
No terror act is apparent as per initial investigation into the murder of J&K Director General of Prisons HK Lohia, said Singh. “It has come to fore that one domestic help is the main accused.”
Lohia was found dead at a house on the outskirts of Jammu city on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday.
The murder comes hours after Union home minister Shah landed in Jammu on a three-day visit during which he will address two big rallies and chair a security review meeting.
Speaking to reporters on Monday morning, ADGP Mukesh Singh said Ahmed, a resident of Ramban, is the main accused in the murder.
He further informed that Ahmed was caught on CCTV camera, fleeing the spot soon after the murder.
Yasir, he said, was working at Lohia’s house for nearly 6 months. “Initial investigation reveals that he was quite aggressive in his behaviour and was also under depression,” he said.
“As per the initial investigation, no terror act is apparent so far but a thorough probe is underway,” the Jammu police chief said. “The weapon of offence has been seized besides some documentary evidence reflecting his mental state.”
The police have appealed to the public to share any clues regarding the whereabouts of the accused.
A 1992-batch IPS officer, Lohia, 57, was appointed as the DGP (Prisons) of Jammu & Kashmir in August 2022. His killing has raised several questions, with many asking why a civilian was hired as a domestic help at the residence of a DG-rank officer.
Many people on social media also asked why Yasin was allowed to continue services at the officer’s residence if he was suffering from depression for a long time.
“Why did DG Lohia go to 10 kilometres away from Jammu city to stay and not secure accommodation close to the city,” a social media user asked.
Hours after the murder, TRF, in a poster, said it would carry out more such attacks in the future. The authenticity of the poster, however, could not be verified.