india kashmir troops srinagar
Indian paramilitary troopers patrol along a street in Srinagar on October 4, 2022, during India's Home Minister Amit Shah's visit to Jammu and Kashmir. Image Credit: AFP

Srinagar: The chief of the prison service in Kashmir has been murdered, police said on Tuesday, as the powerful interior minister visited the 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 a militant group said it had targeted and killed Lohia.

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.

The People’s Anti-Fascist Front (PAFF), a militant group, said it had assassinated Lohia.

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

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

Reuters could not immediately verify the authenticity of the PAFF statement.