The Jammu and Kashmir Police have arrested a special police officer for allegedly kidnapping, raping and killing an eight-year-old girl in Kathua district in January, PTI reported. The child’s father had alleged she was raped and tortured before being killed.

On January 23, the Mehbooba Mufti government had transferred the case to the crime branch.

Additional Director General of Crime Branch, Alok Puri said on Saturday the police had arrested SPO Deepak Khajuria and were using the services of the forensic science department of the police to investigate the incident. NDTV quoted unidentified police officials as saying that Khajuria and an underage boy had raped and murdered the child after holding her captive for a week.

A special investigation team had earlier arrested a 15-year-old boy and claimed that he strangled the girl after she resisted his attempts to rape her.

The news about the child’s murder had triggered outrage in Jammu province. On January 18, the Opposition National Conference and the Congress walked out of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly in protest against the incident. On January 19, protests were held in several places across Jammu, accompanied by warnings of an agitation if the culprits were not arrested soon.