Deccan Chronicle

Govt assures it's in touch with Yemen, Saudi to secure Kerala priest's release

Deccan Chronicle | DC Correspondent

Published on: December 26, 2016 | Updated on: December 26, 2016

Father Tom had appealed to the Pope and the Government of India to secure his release.

 Father Uzhunnalil, who hails from Kerala, was abducted in March. (YouTube screengrab)

Father Uzhunnalil, who hails from Kerala, was abducted in March. (YouTube screengrab)

New Delhi: Responding to an Indian Catholic priest's request, who was abducted in Yemen this year, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official spokesperson Vikas Swarup on Monday said India is in regular touch with Saudi Arabia and Yemen authorities and is undertaking efforts to secure his release.

"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. Efforts continue in this regard," Swarup said.

Read: Abducted Kerala priest appeals to Pope, Centre to secure his release

The response from the foreign ministry came after father Tom Uzhunnalil, who hails from Kerala and works in a Church at Aden, in a video posted through web, appealed to the Government of India to release from his captors.

"President and Prime Minister, I am sad nothing done seriously in my regard. If I was a European priest then I might have been taken more seriously by authorities and people would have got me released," he said.

"I am from India and therefore I am perhaps not considered of much value, I'm sad. Dear Pope Francis, please take care of my life. I request my fellow human beings of different Governments to come forward and help me," he added.

The veracity of the video, which was uploaded from YouTube and Facebook, could neither be independently verified nor was the period when it was shot known.

Father Uzhunnalil, who hails from Kerala, was abducted in March by terror group Islamic State which attacked an old-age home run by Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity in southern Yemeni city of Aden.

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