New Delhi, Feb 22:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday announced the release of Indian Jesuit priest Father Alexis Prem Kumar, who was in captivity in Afghanistan for over eight months.
“Delighted at securing the release of Indian Jesuit priest Father Alexis Prem Kumar from captivity in Afghanistan. Have spoken to him… Informed happy family of his safe return after eight months in captivity,” Modi posted on twitter.
A formal statement by the external affairs ministry soon followed saying that the country has secured Kumar’s safe release.
“We have been able to secure his release. At the time when he was abducted he was working with Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), an international NGO, which was doing work in the educational field in Afghanistan.
“The matter of his release was pursued by the government of India and our leadership, including at the highest level by the prime minister,” Syed Akbaruddin, spokesperson of the ministry, told reporters.
Refusing to divulge further details, the official said: “At this stage you would understand that we would not be able to share with you any operational details.”
He said the government was thankful to everyone who worked “tirelessly” for his release.
“I can confirm that he is safe now and arrangements will be made for him to rejoin the family shortly,” Akbaruddin said.
Kumar, 47, was kidnapped June 2, 2014 in Afghanistan while he was on a visit to a project site. IANS