Two of the accused policemen in the murder and alleged rape of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua moved the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Monday seeking a fresh inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation. They also wanted the investigation by the state Crime Branch to be quashed.

The girl was found dead on January 17, a week after she had gone missing in a village. The chargesheet filed by the Crime Branch of the state police on April 9 said she had been held captive in a temple, drugged, allegedly raped repeatedly and then strangled. The crime has sparked several protests and counter protests across the country.

Sub-Inspector Anand Dutta and Special Police Officer Deepak Khajuria were among the eight people arrested for the crime. On Monday, their counsel Veenu Gupta filed a writ petition in the High Court claiming the chargesheet filed by the Crime Branch has many discrepancies, The Tribune reported.

The investigation was shifted on three occasions, from the local police to the Crime Branch and then the Special Investigation Team, the petition said. “The group which was finally constituted as the Special Investigation Team headed by Inspector General, Crime Branch, strangely had an officer, namely Inspector Irfan Wani, who was involved in a rape and murder case a few years back and had even remained absconding for about three years despite being a police officer,” the petition said.

It added: “His subsequent acquittal in the trial court for want of evidence is a matter of record. However, looking into the sensitivity of the case, he has the least qualification of being a part of the SIT.”

The petition added that there were “huge differences” in the autopsy and forensic reports and claimed that the Crime Branch’s investigation was “incorrect”, according to PTI. It also claimed that the Special Investigation Team had planted evidence in the case.