New Delhi, December 27: Father Tom Uzhunnalil a catholic priest who was abducted in Yemen in March this year, has appealed to the central government of India and Pope Francis to secure his release by posting a video on youtube. Looking at the consequences of this incident External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj has taken initiative from front and promised that Indian authority will try their best to bring Father Tom back safely.
On Monday morning, Minister Sushma Swaraj posted a set of tweets and said, "I have seen the video from Father Tom. He is an Indian citizen and the life of every Indian is most precious for us... We will spare no effort to secure Father Tom's release from captivity."
Swaraj further tweeted and gave the example of Father Alex Prem Kumar and Judith D'Souza who were released safely from Afghanistan and came back to India safely. She said on twitter, “We got Fr Alex Prem Kumar and Judith D'Souza released from Afghanistan.”
The Union government said that the efforts are already being made to secure Uzhunnalil's release, but such attempts take time. MEA spokesperson Vikas Swaroop said, “You are aware of the circumstances currently prevailing in Yemen where fighting is going on with no central authority in that country. With regard to the safe release of Father Tom, who was abducted some months ago, we have been in regular touch with countries in the region, especially Saudi Arabia as also the local Yemeni authorities.”
Notably, Father Tom Uzhunnalil posted a video in which he appealed to the central government of India and Pope Francis to secure his release. He in a video has also alleged that not enough efforts were being made to free him because, as an Indian, he was “not considered of much value.”
Father Uzhunnalil claimed that his captors have made contact with the Government of India on several occasions but so far, the authorities have taken no steps to free him. "I am very sad that nothing has been done seriously in my regard. Reports have been there in the news that everything is being done to release me quickly. But in reality nothing seems to have happened," the priest said.
Addressing “fellow Christians”, he said, “Nothing has been done by Pope Francis or the Bishop of Abu Dhabi to get me released, in spite of contact being made by my captors… Dear Pope Francis, dear Holy Father, as a father please take care of my life. I am very much depressed. My health is deteriorating,” he said.
Father Uzhunnalil was abducted in March by Islamic State operatives, when they attacked an old-age home run by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in the southern Yemeni city of Aden. At least 15 people at the old-age home were killed in the attack including four nuns of the Missionaries of Charity, one of them from India.