It was a happy Sunday for the family of Father Alexis Prem Kumar when they got news of his release from captivity in Afghanistan after eight months — and from Prime Minister Narendra Modi no less.
“We are extremely happy to hear the news. We thank the government of India and the government of Tamil Nadu for taking efforts in securing his release,” Albert Manoharan, brother of Father Alexis Prem Kumar told IANS over phone.
He said Prime Minister Modi spoke to his father and sister Sunday and said Prem Kumar will be back in Delhi Sunday evening.
“It is a great Sunday surprise gift for us,” John Joseph, another brother of Prem Kumar, told IANS.
He was all praise for Modi and the central government.
“It is a government that works even on Sundays. We thank the central government, and Prime Minister Modi for the great job,” Joseph said.
He said his father and sister plan to leave for Delhi Sunday.
Modi had earlier tweeted about the safe release of Prem Kumar who was kidnapped June 2, 2014 from Herat province in Afghanistan.
His family in Tamil Nadu had been praying for his safe return.
The Jesuit priest, head of NGO Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), was abducted from Zendjan district while he was visiting a project site.
He was visiting a school for Afghan refugee children and had just returned from a trip to Iran and Pakistan.
Before moving to Afghanistan four years ago, Prem Kumar had worked for the JRS, serving Sri Lankan refugees living in Tamil Nadu.
JRS has been working in Afghanistan since 2005 accompanying returnees home from exile in Iran and Pakistan and providing education and healthcare services in Bamiyan, Kabul and Herat.
In 2013, more than 6,000 vulnerable people from disadvantaged communities benefitted from these services.(IANS)