PATHANKOT: A special Court of Pathankot has convicted six men accused in the rape and murder case of an eight-year-old Muslim girl Asifa in Kathua district Indian-administered Kashmir last year.
The six Hindu men were due to be sentenced later on Monday.
Asifa was part of the Gujjar Bakarwal community, a group of Muslim nomadic herders in the region.
According to the charge sheet, she was grazing her family’s ponies in the forests of the Himalayan foothills when she was drugged and kidnapped in January 2018.
She was taken to a village in the Kathua district where she was held captive in a Hindu temple and sexually assaulted for four days. She was then strangled and battered to death with a stone. Her body was later found in a nearby forest.
The incident, which initially appeared to draw a reluctant outrage, snowballed into a major crisis for India’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after two of its ministers rallied in support of the accused.
However, after the details and motives of the rape and killing came into the public domain, street protests rocked the Muslim-majority region in Kashmir. Thousands of people also rallied in support of the victim in several parts of India.