Fr Tom Uzhunnalil, was abducted last year by the IS terror group in Yemen's city of Aden.

15 months after Fr Tom was abducted by IS in Yemen family pleads with Kerala Governor for help
news Terrorism Thursday, June 01, 2017 - 09:16

A year after the abduction of Malayali priest, Father Tom Uzhunnalil, by Islamic State terrorists in Yemen, his relatives met Kerala governor Justice P Sathasivam on Wednesday, seeking help.  

They requested the Governor to pressurise the Centre to intensify search for the priest. Former chief minister Oommen Chandy accompanied the relatives.

The Governor assured them all help and forwarded the petition to Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, with a letter requesting the ministry to intensify the search for Tom Uzhunnalil.

In response to the Governor’s note and the relatives’ petition, Swaraj tweeted, "We are sparing no effort”.

On May 25, the Chief Minister said in the state assembly that he would approach the Prime Minister regarding this issue.  He has also said that the State had approached the Centre many times since 2016 seeking help but there has been no response.

Father Tom Uzhunnalil, who hails from Kottayam, was abducted in March last year by the IS terror group, which attacked an old-age home run by Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity in Yemen's city of Aden.

Few videos of Uzhunnalil have appeared since his abduction.

In a recent video posted on Yemeni news portal www.aden-tm.net on May first week , Uzhunnalil said, "They are treating me well, to the extent they are able.”

"My health condition is deteriorating quickly and I require hospitalisation as early as possible," said a frail looking Uzhunnalil.

Uzhunnalil said his kidnappers had contacted the Indian government and the Catholic Bishop in Abu Dhabi with their demands, but the response was "not encouraging”.

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