India’s victory at Hague hailed; NGO pleads for Uzhunnalil
By Matters India Reporter
Bengaluru: A Bengaluru-based voluntary organization engaged in education and healthcare activities on April 18 applauded the India’s victory at the International Court of Justice and pleaded for using the same tactic to save an abducted Catholic priest.
“First of all, accept our congratulations on behalf of all Indians for saving our brother Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav from the gallows of death,” says RACSHA, or Reality Awareness Safety Health for All, in a letter to federal External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
The letter, signed by NGO president K A Vikram, says the entire nation praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Swaraj for their efforts to save “the life our Indian brother.”
Vikram also lauded Harish Salve, the lawyer who represented India at the Hague-based International Court of Justice.
Earlier in the day, the UN´s top court ordered Pakistan to stay the execution of Jadhav convicted of alleged spying.
Judges ruled in a unanimous and binding decision that Jadhav must not be executed by Islamabad until they have had time to pass final judgment in the case.
Jadhav was arrested from Baluchistan in March 2016 and Pakistani officials say he has confessed to spying for Indian intelligence services. A military court in April convicted him and sentenced to death.
India maintains that Jadhav is not a spy India and charged that Pakistan violated its obligations under an international treaty guaranteeing diplomatic help to foreigners accused of capital crimes.
“Pakistan shall take all measures at its disposal to ensure that (Jadhav) is not executed pending the final decision in these proceedings,” said the Hague court´s president Ronny Abraham, a French academic and practitioner in the field of public international law.
Vikram wants Swaraj to use the same diplomatic skills to save Father Tom Uzhunnalil, who was abducted by Islamic militants from southern Sudan.
“We would like to bring to your kind notice that another Indian Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil, a Catholic priest who has been abducted by the ISIS terrorist on March 4, 2016, is yet to be released from the clutches of terrorists,” the letter says.
Vikram regrets that no information is available about the 58-year-old Salesian priest’s safety.
“This is the right time to approach the international community to put pressure on these terrorists as the whole world has seen how the innocent Indians are abducted and condemned,” the RASCHA president suggests.
He also pleads that Swaraj take up the matter urgently and to bring back “one more Indian and show to the world that every Indian is a precious person and we will go to any extent to save our people and our nation.”
A week ago, a new video appeared showing Father Uzhunnalil appealing for help.
A frail looking man says his health is deteriorating and needs hospitalization. His captors had contacted the Indian government and the bishop of the region several times, but their response had been poor, the man in the video alleged.
Father Tom is diabetic and suffers from blood pressure issues as well.
In the nearly 90 second video, recorded on April 15, 2017, he says neither Indian government nor the bishop made a serious effort to understand what his captors wanted. He appeals to his family to do whatever they can. The date April 15, 2017 was written on a cardboard pasted on his body.
The authenticity of the recording could not immediately be verified.