New Delhi, Feb 17: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti condemned the use of national flag during protest taken by a fringe group in support of accused in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl. Also Read - 'J&K up For Sale': Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti Slam Centre Over New Land Law

A Hindu Ekta Manch took out protest and raised slogans carrying national flag in Jammu on Friday. They demanded the release of Special Police Officer Deepak Khajuria, who was arrested last week in connection with the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua district. Also Read - You Can Buy Land in Jammu And Kashmir Now, Home Ministry Issues Gazette Notification

Mufti took to Twitter to express the shock over the incident, “Appalled by the marches & protests in defense of the recently apprehended rapist in Kathua. Also horrified by their (protesters’) use of our national flag in these demonstrations, this is nothing short of desecration.” Also Read - Major Setback to PDP as 3 Jammu-based Leaders Quit Party Over Mehbooba Mufti's Flag Remark

A special police officer Deepak Khajuria was arrested after a special investigation team of the crime branch found evidence of his alleged involvement in the rape and murder case, early this month.

Khajuria, 28, was part of the police team searching for the girl after her parents lodged a missing report in Hiranagar police station. The child’s body was found near the jungles at Rasana village in Kathua district on January 17, a week after she went missing.

Police had earlier arrested a juvenile before the crime branch took over the case. The incident was criticised by the opposition.