Preliminary report on the incident has been sent to Vatican

The Palayamkottai RC Diocese has relieved a priest of his pastoral duties following rape charges levelled against him.

As Fr. Gnanapragasam Antony Selvan, parish priest of Pettai, has been accused of raping a 16-year-old girl and surgically removing her five-month-old-foetus with the help of a doctor. The Tirunelveli All Women Police filed a case against him.

Subsequently, he surrendered before a court at Uththamapalayam and was remanded to judicial custody.

He has been lodged in Madurai Central Prison.

Bishop of Palayamkottai RC Diocese, Rev. A. Jude Paulraj has confirmed that the priest has been relieved of religious duties.

In a statement released on Sunday, the Bishop said that since a First Information Report had been registered against Fr. Selvan, he was placed under suspension.

A preliminary report on the case has been sent to the Vatican. If the accusations were proved, the Church would inflict severe punishment on him.

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