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Info sought on government steps on abducted priest 

By Matters India reporter

Bengaluru: A prominent Catholic lay leader in Bengaluru on December 27 sought information on the steps taken by the Indian government for the release of a Catholic priest who was abducted in Yemen ten months ago.

Kanickaraj Anthony Vikram, director of short film and former vice president of the Janata Dal Secular party’s Christian wing of Karnataka unit, filed the Right to Information (RTI) petition with the federal External Affairs Ministry a day after a video clip on Salesian Father Tom Uzhunnalil went viral on social media.

The video shows a person claiming to be Father Uzhunnalil pleading the world community’s help in his release. The bearded man alleges that nothing has been done by the Indian government and Church authorities for get him released, despite several attempts by his captors for negotiation.

Father Uzhunnalil, who hails from Ramapuram village of Kerala’s Kottayam district was kidnapped on March 4 from a Missionaries of Charity center in Aden, a port city in southern Yemen.

Vikram says he was compelled to file the RTI petition after reading in the newspaper inaction by the Indian government in securing the safe release of Father Uzhunnalil.

The lay leader shared with the Indian bishops and other Church leaders his petition that wants to know the present condition of the abducted priest and the efforts by the government, particularly the External Affairs Ministry, to get him released.

Anthony also wants to know the demands from the abductors and the reason for the government delay in getting in touch with the abducted priest.

The lay leader urged the prelates to pray for Father Uzhunnal’s safety and try to bring in international pressure from the Vatican city for the priest’s release.

Earlier in the day, Persecution Relief, a social media advocacy group that focuses on harassed Christians in India, launched a petition to rescue Father Uzhunnalil. Some 510 people have signed up the petition at the within a few hours.

The petition is addressed to the Indian present, prime minister and the external affairs minister urging them to take “every effort and necessary actions” to save Father Uzhunnalil.

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17 Responses to Info sought on government steps on abducted priest

  1. Jacintha Paul

    This is an utter negligence from the authorities from the Government and church. What a pity to know that authorities are so indifferent to the agony of our people. Very sad
    A very earnest request to the authorites kindly take up seriously with the negotiators and Pleease get him released at the earliest. Please
    Lovingly thanking you
    J Paul

  2. Vikram

    Ministry of external affairs have declined to share the information on fr. Tom saying it can reveal the information as it could cause safety of the concerned person. Lets pray for his safety and early release

  3. Lissy

    Great job Mr. Anthony Vikram. May the initiatives taken and the works being done be blessed by God and supported by all and may Fr. Tom be rescued soon.

  4. Fr. George Thomas

    The work you are doing is commendable. I assure you my prayers, also if any further way I can be of help. May your work bear fruit.

  5. basanti besra

    I appreciate and am proud of your stand for Fr. Tom. Yes we are praying for his release.

  6. Joyce Cardozo

    Thank you for taking up Fr. Tom’s cause. People r praying for his early release. MEA
    Sushma Swaraj normally acts quickly in such cases. Hoping and praying that this situation is resolved before the year ends.

  7. Xavier De Souza

    Praise the Lord brother 🙏
    Well done 👍. It’s high time for the concerned authorities, to get into action in getting Rev. Fr. Tom released from the captivity ASAP.
    We the Divine Mercy Intercession Famiy from Kuwait 🇰🇼 will storm the heavens above in our prayers and if possible please keep us updated on the process that needs to be taken.
    We surely will release Fr. Tom back to his congregation to serve us the people of God into his kingdom.

  8. K Mathai KAS

    Your leadership ability and concern for right causes is highly appreciated. Leader should lead and be a model for others. Now is the time for all like minded people to react in their own ways. Best wishes….keep it up…

  9. Josephine Dlima

    Mr. Anthony Vikram,you are really great to take strong steps in the investigation of Fr. Tom. May the Holy Spirit, streng
    then you,give you the courage n wisdom, to be successful n give the world the msg of saving Fr. Tom. God bless you always. Help
    Release Fr. Tom, our prayers are with you

  10. George Edat

    Obviously the accusations of Fr. Tom against Indian Government and the Church are forced statements to get as big a ransom as possible so that captors can continue with their terrible activities against all human rights. Fr. Tom is an innocent man and has done only good for Yemen. No negotiations are needed to for releasing him. Just do the right thing with no strings attached.

  11. Jose Sebastian

    Save Fr. Tom. Please continue to struggle for the voiceless.

  12. N S Jesudoss

    Well done Mr Antony I appreciate your courage and concrete steps take by you.

  13. saleth mary

    I am proud of you. Continue to be truthful Christian.

  14. Gnanaprakash

    Save Fr.Tome

  15. diana

    May God bless you brother.

  16. Clara

    Kudos to Mr. Anthony Vikram! I’ll be eager to know the result of the RTI petition.