A 23-year-old man working as a domestic help was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly murdering Jammu and Kashmir Director General-prisons Hemant K Lohia in Jammu, police said.
Yasir Lohar's arrest from a field in Kanhachak area followed a major all-night manhunt, police said in a statement, adding that his interrogation was underway.
The 1992-batch IPS officer was found dead on Monday night at his friend's house on the outskirts of Jammu, with burn injuries on his body and his throat slit.
Police said initial investigations did not point towards a terror angle.
Though a terror group People's Anti-Fascist Front claimed responsibility for his murder, Director General of Police Dilbag Singh, who visited the crime scene, told reporters “these terror groups shamelessly own everything and anything.
“There was no clue which suggested involvement of any terror group. For the time being, the terror angle is ruled out but if, during investigation, such a thing comes to light, we will see to it,” he said.
The murder of Lohia, who had returned to head the prisons of the union territory, came at a time when Union Home Minister Amit Shah is on a three-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir.
"In a major manhunt launched by Jammu and Kashmir police throughout the night, the accused involved in murder case of the DG prisons has been apprehended. Interrogation of the accused has started,” Additional Director General of Police, Mukesh Singh said.
Terming it as an unfortunate incident, the police chief said the force has got relevant clues from the scene which indicate that the accused had a history of aggressive behaviour.
He said the suspect had bolted the room from inside when the DGP was rubbing balm on his foot.
The domestic help repeatedly attacked him with a sharp object and even threw a burning pillow towards him in an apparent bid to set ablaze the body of the victim.
The 57-year-old Lohia, who was promoted and appointed as Director General of Prisons in the Union Territory in August, had shifted to his friend's house only a few days back.
Earlier, the ADGP had said that preliminary examination of the crime scene indicated that Lohia must have been applying some oil on his foot which showed swelling.
The killer suffocated Lohia to death and also used a broken ketchup bottle to slit his throat and later tried to set the body afire, he said.
The guards present at the residence of the officer saw fire inside his room and broke open the door, the ADGP said.
The officials said raids were conducted by special teams at different places including the domestic help's home town in Halla-Dhandrath village in Ramban district where some persons including his fiance were detained for questioning.
The ADGP said the CCTV footage collected from the incident site showed the accused running away after the commission of the crime.
"Lohar was working in this house for nearly six months…Initial investigation revealed that he was quite aggressive in his behaviour and was also under depression,” he said
"A thorough probe is on to rule out any possibility. The weapon of offence has been seized besides some documentary evidence reflecting his (domestic help's) mental state,” he said.
Officials said the body of the deceased officer was shifted to the Government Medical College hospital Jammu for postmortem.
Sharing some pages from the diary of the accused, a police official said Lohar, a school dropout, was apparently fed up with his life.
The domestic help wrote in his diary that he was 99 percent sad but wearing a 100 percent ‘fake smile'.
“I am 10 percent happy, having zero percent love in life and 90 percent tension in life. I hate my life which only gives pain and waiting for death to restart my life,” he wrote in the diary.