The chief of the prison service in India-occupied Kashmir has been murdered, police said on Tuesday, as the powerful interior minister visited the disputed Himalayan region.

The body of Hemant Kumar Lohia, 57, the region’s director general of prisons, was found at his home on Monday night in the Jammu region, police said.

Police said a household helper was the main suspect but the People’s Anti-Fascist Front (PAFF), a group that emerged after India reorganised the disputed territory into two federally administered territories in 2019, said it had targeted and killed Lohia.

“This is just a beginning of such high-profile operations,” the PAFF said in a statement on social media, adding that the killing was a “small gift” to Indian Home Minister Amit Shah, who arrived in occupied Kashmir on Monday on a three-day visit.

The authenticity of the PAFF statement could not be immediately verified.

Senior police officer Mukesh Singh said Lohia’s throat had been cut and his body bore burns. The initial investigation suggested it was not a “terror act” but police were investigating, he said.

Meanwhile, Delhi-based NDTV reported that police had taken Lohia’s household helper into custody.

Police have blamed groups like the PAFF for targeted killing but fighters have not killed any security official of Lohia’s seniority in recent years.

Opinion

Editorial

The Musharraf enigma
Updated 06 Feb, 2023

The Musharraf enigma

The Musharraf era holds numerous lessons for Pakistan’s ruling elite, civilian and military.
Staying neutral
06 Feb, 2023

Staying neutral

THE Election Commission of Pakistan has what is perhaps one of the most thankless jobs in the country. The countless...
Wikipedia ban
06 Feb, 2023

Wikipedia ban

THE country was back in a familiar, dark place last week when the PTA blocked Wikipedia over the charge that it...
IMF’s firm stance
Updated 05 Feb, 2023

IMF’s firm stance

Pakistan needs to complete the review to stave off a default as well as to unlock inflows from other multilateral and bilateral lenders.
Grotesque bigotry
05 Feb, 2023

Grotesque bigotry

FREEDOM to profess one’s faith is guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan. However, for the country’s Ahmadi...
Kashmir reflections
05 Feb, 2023

Kashmir reflections

ASIDE from Kashmir Day, which the nation is observing today as an official holiday, there are a number of other days...