Senior Congress leader A.K. Antony on Sunday lashed out at the Catholic priest accused of rape, saying that he should be dealt with like a criminal.
The priest, 49-year-old Robin Vadakkanchery, has been accused of raping a 17-year-old girl, who later delivered a baby. He has been arrested.
The police have also booked five nuns, a male doctor, a woman in the case.
"He has done a heinous crime and should be dealt with firmly. He need not be shown any sympathy because he is a priest. It's shameful to say that he is a priest. He should be dealt the same way how a criminal will be dealt with," said Antony while speaking to reporters here.
"In cases like these, the religion or post or position of the accused should not be looked into," he added.
The case surfaced with the arrest of Vadakkanchery, a parish vicar near Kannur, earlier this week. He was caught on his way to the Kochi airport as he was allegedly trying to fly out of the country.
The arrest was made following an anonymous call that a 17-year-old school girl gave birth and the Catholic Church authorities in Wayanad were doing their best to cover up the case.
Following the arrest of Vadakkanchery, who also was the manager of the Church-backed school where the girl was a Class 11 student, the hospital authorities and the orphanage all run by the Catholic church came under the scanner.
Antony lamented that he is now afraid to call Kerala as "God's own country".
"The police should not stop after registering a case, instead should take the case to its logical conclusion, where the accused get the punishment. The police have to send a message to the society that whosoever and how big the accused is, such people are put behind bars," he added.
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