Fr Tom

Kozhikode MP Wants PM to Depute Gen Singh to Secure Release of Priest

Kozhikode: Senior Congress leader M K Raghavan, MP, on Tuesday urged the Centre to depute Minister of State for External Affairs Gen (Retd) V K Singh as a mediator to secure the release of Catholic Priest Tom Uzhunnalil from his captors.

In a message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Raghavan, representing Kozhikode in the Lok Sabha, said the expertise of Gen Singh in diplomacy and defence should be utilized for the purpose.

A native of Kottayam in Kerala, Father Tom Uzhunnelil, abducted from Yemen this year, had appealed to the Pope and the Indian Government through a purported video to secure his release

Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj assured the country that her Ministry will do all to secure the release of Indian priest Tom Uzhunnail, abducted by terrorists in March in Yemen. “We have spared no effort and we will spare no effort to secure Fr Tom’s release from captivity,” the External Affairs Minister tweeted.

The priest in a video uploaded on the YouTube and Facebook yesterday appealed to the Government and Pope Francis to get him freed from captivity. “I have seen the video from Fr Tom. He is an Indian citizen and the life of every Indian is most precious for us,” Swaraj said.

Father Uzhunnalil, who hails from Kerala, said he was sad that nothing was being done seriously to secure his release. “If I were a European, I would have been taken very seriously, but since I am from India, I am not considered of much value,” Fr Tom had said.