Uzhunnalil to meet Prime Minister Modi on September 28
By Matters India Reporter
New Delhi: Salesian Father Tom Uzhunnalil, who is resting in Rome after being rescued from Islamic militants in Yemen, is all set to visit his native country, Vatican sources revealed September 22.
The 59-year-old Catholic priest, who spent 18 months in captivity, will first meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 28, the same day of his arrival. He is expected to express his gratitude to the Indian government for its concerted and consistent efforts to free him.
The priest is also expected to meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and officials of her ministry before flying to Bengaluru to address the Standing Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India. The member of the Salesians’ Bangalore province will also spend some time with his confreres in the capital of Karnataka state.
He will then head to his native state of Kerala and visit the headquarters of the Syro-Malabar Church in Kakkanad, a suburb of Kochi, the state’s commercial capital.
He will then time with his relatives in Ramapuram, his village in Kottayam district. The village plans a grand welcome for him.
Father Uzhunnalil will also call on Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala.
He was released from captivity on September 12 with the assistance of Oman government and Vatican intervention. He went to Rome the following day where he met Pope Francis.