Sushma Swaraj to Indian Salesians: 'Fr. Tom could be released soon'

2017-08-24 Vatican Radio

Sushma Swaraj assured a delegation of Indian Salesains who met her in New Delhi on Aug 17, that    Fr. Tom, who was kidnapped in Yemen a year ago, is alive and could be released soon.    

Speaking to the delegation the Minister for External Affairs said that securing his freedom was  among the highest priorities of the government. And added that  she felt for the "unimaginable trauma and suffering" Father Uzhunnalil has endured.       

In a letter of March 28, 2016 addressed to the Minister of External Affairs, the Indian Bishops too had appealed to the government to trace and rescue Fr. Tom.  Messages were sent to India’s Prime      Minister Narendra Modi, the Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh, and the Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, “soliciting their urgent intervention to ensure the safety of Fr. Tom.”

Since his kidnapping, Salesians in the Bangalore province of India have made continued efforts for    his safety and release, including holding a prayer vigil Jan. 4 and a worldwide novena Jan. 15-23.

Father Uzhunnalil was kidnapped March 4, 2016, after suspected Islamic terrorists attacked a home    for the elderly run by Missionaries of Charity nuns in Yemen city of Aden.

Sixteen people, including four nuns, were shot dead and the priest, who was serving as the house    chaplain, kidnapped.(UCAN)

(from Vatican Radio)