On Tuesday, while the influential interior minister was in the disputed Himalayan territory, police announced the death of the head of the prison service in India-occupied Kashmir.Director General of Prisons for the area Hemant Kumar Lohia, 57, was found dead at his house on Monday night in the Jammu area, according to the police.
A domestic servant was the primary suspect, according to the police, but the People’s Anti-Fascist Front (PAFF), an organisation that formed when India divided the disputed territory into two federally governed zones in 2019, claimed responsibility for Lohia’s murder.
The killing was a “little gift” for Indian Home Minister Amit Shah, who arrived in occupied Kashmir on Monday for a three-day visit, the PAFF claimed in a statement posted on social media. “This is just a beginning of such high-profile operations,” the PAFF added.
Lohia’s throat had been severed, according to senior police officer Mukesh Singh, and his body had burns. Police were looking into it even though the preliminary inquiry indicated it was not a “terror attack,” he said.Police have accused organisations like the PAFF of carrying out targeted killings, but in recent years, fighters have not slain any security officials with Lohia’s level of seniority.