Kottayam: A senior MLA Friday urged the Catholic church to raise a fund to give as ransom to the captors of priest Tom Uzhunnalil, abducted by IS terrorists in war-torn Yemen last year.
“Prayers and cries seeking release of the priest will not help. They (terrorists) want money. The Catholic church should take initiative to raise the fund to pay as ransom to them,” P.C. George said, adding, providing money was the one and only way to make possible the release of the priest from captivity.
Catholic priest Uzhunnalil hails from Ramapuram in the district. George said the Church should do something to release the priest who had gone to Yemen to do service for the poor there.He urged the Church to raise a fund from offerings made on a Sunday in Catholic churches and provide it to the terrorists to get release of the priest. George said he was also ready to contribute money.
His statement came a day after Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan informed the state assembly that he would take up with prime minister Narendra Modi the issue of release of the priest. The chief minister had said Thursday that as per reports, the plight of Fr Tom, who was abducted by IS terrorists on March 4, 2016, is serious.
Moving the motion in assembly Thursday, Kerala Congress (M) chief K.M. Mani had alleged that the Centre was not showing any interest to speed up efforts for the priest’s release. If necessary, the Center should seek the help of the United Nations for his rescue from Yemen, he had said.
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala has also urged the state government to take up the matter with the Centre seriously.