Hemant Lohia: A senior police officer in Jammu and Kashmir was found dead at home late last night, with throat slits and burn marks on his body. Police say his help, who is missing, is the prime suspect.
Hemant Kumar Lohia, the officer-in-charge of prisons in Jammu and Kashmir, was murdered at a friend’s house on the outskirts of Jammu, where he was staying with his family, while his house was being renovated.
A terror group, the People’s Anti-Fascist Front (PAFF), has claimed responsibility for the killing, which came to light on the day of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s three-day visit to the union territory. However, the police say that their investigation so far has not pointed to any terrorist links.
Mr. Lohia, 57, was appointed Director General of Prisons (J&K) in August.
Based on preliminary investigation and security footage, police are focusing on Yasir Ahmed, his 23-year-old domestic help, who was hired six months ago.
Senior Jammu police officer Mukesh Singh said Yasir Ahmed was suffering from severe depression.
Weapons – allegedly a broken ketchup bottle – and evidence such as a diary have been confiscated from the house. Ahmed’s photo has been released to the public to help locate him.
Mr. Lohia was “applying oil on his swollen leg” when he was attacked, Mr. Singh said. According to him, the killer suffocated Lohia, slit his throat with a broken ketchup bottle and tried to set the body on fire.
“Security guards entered Lohia’s room after seeing the flames. The room was locked from inside,” Singh said.
In the CCTV footage, the accused are seen running.
“He (Ahmad) was working in this house for about six months. Preliminary investigation revealed that he was very aggressive and was also suffering from depression,” Singh said.
“Police have also seized some documentary evidence showing his mental state including his diary.”
What appears to be Ahmed’s diary, which reveals a sad mind focused on death? “Dear Death, come into my life,” says one note. “I’m sorry my day, week, month, year, life is going to be bad,” says another.
Diary has songs in Hindi, one of which is titled, “Bhula Dena Mujhe (Forget Me)”. Other pages are filled with short sentences and notes – “I hate my life”, “life is just sadness…” – and there is a chart that begins with a picture of a phone battery labeled “My life is 1%”. it happens. “Love 0%, Tension 90%, Sad 99%, Fake Smile 100%,” it reads.
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