Three men have been jailed for life for the defilement, torture and murder of an eight-year old girl in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Three police officers were found guilty of destroying evidence and sentenced to five years in prison.

The victim, who belonged to a Muslim nomadic tribe, was found in a forest near Kathua city in January 2018.

The case flashed extensive anger when Hindu right-wing groups protested over the men’s arrest.

Eight people, including a former government official, four policemen and a minor, were charged in connection with the crime. One of them has been acquitted and the minor is set to be tried separately.

All of them had pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

The case became one among many high-profile ones that prompted India to pass a new law which introduced death penalty for anyone convicted of raping a child under 12.

But it is still left to the judge’s discretion to decide whether or not to hand out a death sentence.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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