The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to provide protection to three witnesses in the Kathua murder case who alleged that the Jammu and Kashmir Police were harassing them, ANI reported. The court also turned down the request of the accused to hand over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The court will continue hearing the matter on Thursday, reported ANI.

The petitioners – among them are two friends of the juvenile accused – told the court in their plea that they had recorded their statements before the police and the magistrate. They alleged that the state police was now asking them to record their statements again and harassing their families too.

On Wednesday, the state government sought time to respond to their accusations and alleged that attempts were being made to impede the investigation.

The top court on May 7 transferred the trial in the murder and alleged rape of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir to Punjab’s Pathankot.