The Mehbooba Mufti government in Jammu and Kashmir said on Tuesday that the probe into the kidnapping and killing of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua district last week has been handed to the crime branch of the state police.

The issue of the killing of the minor, whose body was recovered from the Rassana forest on January 17, a week after she went missing while grazing horses, had repeatedly rocked the House with opposition parties raising questions and demanding action against the culprits.

Minister for Revenue and Parliamentary Affairs Abdul Rehman Veeri informed the state Assembly that the murder case in Hiranagar had been assigned to the crime branch.

A special investigation team (SIT), constituted by the police had arrested a 15-year-old boy and claimed the accused had strangulated the victim after she resisted his rape attempt.

The Opposition demanded stern punishment for the culprit and action against police officers over their alleged failure in tracing out the girl, leading to the suspension of a station house officer on January 20.

The government had already ordered a magisterial probe and assured the House that the incident would be thoroughly probed.

The government has accorded sanction to the transfer of the case registered at Hiranagar police station to crime branch for further investigation, Veeri said.

He added that one person was arrested in connection with a violent protest on Sunday by a group of people.