Thiruvananthapuram, Apr 13 (PTI) Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan today condemned the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl at Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir.

“The accused should be punished in an exemplary manner and those protecting them should be brought before law,” Vijayan said in a Facebook post.

The girl was taken to a temple, kept in captivity and raped by “religious lunatics,” he said.

The country should hang its head in shame before the world for the incident, the chief minister said.

In the name of religion, a child was brutally gangraped and killed and this was a “dangerous state of affairs,” he said.

Former chief minister Oommen Chandy also condemned the incident.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi should break his silence on the matter, he added.

BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan said “the incident has shaken human conscience.”

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.