Six men convicted following rape and murder of child in India

A court in India Monday convicted six Hindu men, including four police officials, in connection with the rape and murder of an 8-year-old Muslim girl in Indiana-controlled Kashmir. (NBC)

PATHANKOT, India (NBC) - A court in India Monday convicted six Hindu men, including four police officials, in connection with the rape and murder of an 8-year-old Muslim girl in Indiana-controlled Kashmir.

A lawyer for the victim told reporters outside the court that three of the defendants had been found guilty of kidnapping, rape and murder.

Three others were convicted of destroying evidence, he said. A seventh defendant was acquitted.

The girl, who as a member of a Nomadic tribe, was grazing her family's ponies in the forests of the Himalayan Foothills when she was kidnapped in January 2018.

Her mutilated body was found in the woods a week later.

The case sparked protests across Kashmir, a Muslim-majority region where rebels have been fighting for years for independence or unification with Pakistan.

The men were expected to be sentenced later Monday.

India has been shaken by a series of sexual assaults in recent years, including the gang-rape and murder of a student on a New Delhi bus in 2012.

That attack galvanized a country where widespread violence against women had long been quietly accepted.