New Delhi: The Indian government has secured the release of Fr Alexis Prem Kumar Antonysamy, the head of a Jesuit organisation, who had been kidnapped by the Taliban while being involved in charity work in Afghanistan eight months ago. He is likely to reach India this evening.
Fr Kumar, who was the country head of educational charity Jesuit Refugee Service, had been abducted on June 2, 2014, from the Sahadat village of Herat province.
He was reportedly visiting a school for Afghan refugee children from Iran and Pakistan which was outside Herat.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the release in a series of tweets this afternoon, the first of which read, “Will soon share some good news with all of you.”
Have spoken to Father Alexis Prem Kumar. Informed happy family of Father Alexis Prem Kumar of his safe return after 8 months in captivity.
– Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 22, 2015
Fr Kumar’s abduction was the first since November 2005, when 36-year-old R Maniyappan working with the Border Road Organisation was taken hostage and beheaded.
Last year in June, 39 construction workers were abducted in Iraq’s Mosul. They are yet to be released.