Men who raped and tortured girl, 8, before fatal stoning could face execution

Six men who drugged an eight-year-old girl then raped her in a temple before stoning her to death in India could face the death penalty.

The men were today convicted for the rape and murder of Asifa Bano in January 2018.

The case sparked outrage and protests across India with people calling for justice for the child and calls for rapists to get the death penalty.

Asifa, who was from a nomadic Muslim community that roams the forests of Kashmir, was kidnapped and drugged on January 10 before she was held captive in a Kathua district temple and sexually assaulted for a week.

She was then strangled and battered to death with a stone.

According to reports, one of the accused allegedly begged to rape her one last time before she was killed.

The girl’s mutilated body was discovered in a forest area on January 17.

There were initially seven suspects but one of them was acquitted from all charges.

The six convicted men include former government officer Sanjhi Ram, his friend Parvesh Kumar, sub-inspector Anand Dutta, head constable Tilak Raj and two special police officers Deepak Khajuria and Surender Verma.

Three of the police officers were also convicted of destroying evidence.

They all face a minimum sentence of life imprisonment and maximum sentence of death penalty.