A police bus carrying the men accused of rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua, near Jammu, arrives at a court in Pathankot, in the northern state of Punjab, India June 10, 2019. REUTERS/Mukesh Gupta

Six, including priest convicted for rape/murder of a minor in Jammu & Kashmir

An Indian court, on Monday, has convicted six Hindu men of involvement in the rape and murder case of an eight year-old Muslim child that took place in India’s Jammu and Kashmir state in Jan 2018. The accused are a priest and police officers.

The girl, from a nomadic Muslim community that roams the forests of Kashmir, was drugged, held captive in a temple and sexually assaulted for a week before being strangled and battered to death with a stone, last year.

The case had caused the criticism and outrage of the country’s ruling party Bharatiya Janata Party after some of its members came out in the support of the accused.

In a 15-page charge sheet presented by the crime branch it says that the abduction, rape and murder of the child was preplanned in order to remove the minority nomadic community from the area.

The six Hindu men are due to be sentenced later on Monday. The prosecutor was seeking the death penalty for three accused, i.e, priest Sanji Ram, Deepak Khajuria and Parvesh Kumar while other three Surinder Kumar, Tilak Raj and Anand Dutta were convicted of lesser crimes of tampering the evidences

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