Protests spread across India over kidnapping, rape and murder of 8-year-old Asifa Bano

Protesters in Srinagar

Protests have swept across India as Hindu police officers were accused of being involved in the horrific kidnapping, rape and murder an eight-year-old Muslim girl in occupied Kashmir.

The protests were sparked as a police charge sheet revealed horrifying details of the gang rape and murder of Asifa Bano in a Hindu-dominated area of Jammu and Kashmir in January.

She was kidnapped, drugged, gang raped and murdered in a Hindu temple.

The perpetrators kept her at the temple for days, then stoned and strangled her before dumping her body in the forest, police said.

Asifa Bano, 8.

A former government official and an officer who was investigating the parents’ complaint about their missing daughter are named in the police charge sheet.

Others are accused of trying to cover up the crime, and four police officers have been arrested so far, said Deepika Singh Rajawat, a lawyer representing the victim’s family.

Campaigners have shared a picture of the smiling, brown-eyed little girl on social media with the line #JusticeforAsifa.

Distressing images are also circulating which appear to show her body after the killing.

Citizens’ groups are planning further protests in Calcutta, Hyderabad, Chennai and New Delhi this week, while thousands of people have taken to social media to seek justice for the victims.

Ministers have insisted that justice will be done no matter who committed the crime, while defending the government’s record on fighting violence against women.

India’s right-wing Prime Minister Narendra Modi has yet to speak out against the rape and murder of Asifa Bano, 8, which has added to the outrage of demonstrators.

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