Investigators into the crime, that has hightened tension in Indian-administered Kashmir, say that four police offers sought to cover up the abduction, gang-rape and murder of eight-year old Asifa Bano.
Indian police officers were allegedly involved in an attempt to cover up a gang-rape and killing of an eight-year old Muslim girl in a temple in the Indian-administered Kashmir in January, according to a charge sheet filed by police.
The abduction, rape and killing of the Bakherwal girl named Asifa Bano in the small town of Kathua has sparked protests and tension in the scenic region.
Forensic reports say she had been drugged with anti-anxiety medication, repeatedly raped, burned, bludgeoned with a rock and strangled. Eventually, her corpse was thrown into the forest where it was found a week later.
TRT World spoke to journalist Parvaiz Bukhari, in Srinagar.
Police say the attack had been planned for over a month as a way to terrorise the Bakarwals, a Muslim community of nomadic herders, into leaving the area.
The crime was allegedly masterminded by Sanji Ram, the caretaker of a temple in Rassana village while two special police officers, a friend, a juvenile, and Ram’s son, were also allegedly involved in the carefully planned conspiracy, says the charge sheet, according to the Hindustan Times.
The charge sheet also lists a head constable and a sub-inspector, who destroyed crucial evidence in exchange for a bribe of Indian Rs 400,000 ($6,000) from Ram.
All the eight are in police custody.
Protests for Asifa
A number of student organisations and members of civil society took to the streets Srinagar on Wednesday to demand justice for the brutally raped girl.
Students belonging to various schools and colleges protested against the government, saying the administration has failed in dispensing justice to Asifa’s tormented family.
The protesters called for arrest of lawyers who had attempted to block police from filing their investigation report at the local court.
Protests for accused
Soon after the suspects were arrested, members of the extremist Hindu Ekta Manch, or Hindu Unity Platform, marched through the streets of Jammu, the largest city in southern Kashmir, carrying a massive Indian flag, chanting “Long Live India!” and demanding that police release the men.
The group has links to the ruling BJP, and two BJP lawmakers have publicly defended the accused men.
On Monday, Hindu lawyers in Kathua tried to block police from filing their investigation report at the local court.
They said the police investigation was flawed and claimed the six Hindu men accused in the attack had been framed.