18-year-old teenager convicted of killing a gamer
[Representative Image]Reuters

A 28-year-old Jammu and Kashmir Police officer has been arrested following the brutal rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl last month. The minor girl belonged to a nomad family in Kathua.

The accused has been identified Special Police Officer (SPO) Deepak Khujaria. He was nabbed over probe after the girl's family members filed a complaint with Heera Nagar police station. What comes as a big shock is that Khujaria was also part of the team involved in the search.

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According to reports, the minor was abducted from Rasana when she was herding horses on January 10. Her body was discovered on January 17.

The arrest

The probe revealed that Khujaria allegedly raped and murdered the girl with the help of a minor boy. Khujaria and the boy had kept the minor girl captive for almost a week and raped her, the police said.

Alok Puri, the Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Crime Branch Jammu and Kashmir, said, "We have clinching evidence about his (Deepak Khajuria's) involvement. There was a motive and we have evidence as well."

Family knew of Khujaria's involvement

The victim's family members claimed that they had been alleging since the day of the incident that Khujaria was involved in the abduction, rape, and murder of their daughter.

A nomad activist recalled, "On the funeral day, we were lathi-charged and I was arrested. This man hounded nomads and beat them up. We had been demanding his arrest."

The investigation of the Kathua police station was also questioned by the locals which led to the case being handed over to the crime branch.

The girl's family members also claimed that the nomad community members were thrashed when they staged a sit-in protest demanding justice on January 21. It is alleged that Khujaria thrashed them with batons.

ADGP Puri said, "He was also part of the search party but he was not investigating the case. Now, we know what was the motive."