New Delhi (CNN)The brutal gang rape and murder of an eight-year-old Muslim girl, in the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, has inflamed religious tensions and sparked widespread protests, in a case that is threatening to further destabilize an already restive region.
Murder and rape of 8-year-old inflames religious tensions in northern India
The small, lifeless body of the girl, whose identity is protected by Indian law, was recovered from a forest in the isolated Himalayan district of Kathua in late January after an extensive police search.
But it was the horrifying details that emerged following a police investigation made public this month that have seen the case gain nationwide attention.
Police say the young girl, who belonged to a Muslim nomadic community known as the Bakarwals, was abducted while grazing horses in a meadow on January 12.
From there, it is alleged she was taken to a Hindu temple, where she was drugged and held captive for five days.
During that period, police say she was raped repeatedly by several different men, before being murdered and dumped in a nearby forest on January 17. Postmortem reports concluded that she had been strangled to death.
Police have arrested eight men in connection with the death of the girl, including a retired government official and three police officers.
But rather than quel