Kerala

Yemeni captors did not harm me: Uzhunnalil

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They feigned hitting him on videos seeking ransom, gave medicines to treat his diabetes

A Catholic priest from India who was freed after being held 18 months in Yemen says he was never physically harmed during his captivity, even if his captors feigned hitting him on videos seeking ransom.

Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil told reporters today that his kidnappers ‘had not injured me at all.’

Indian officials announced on Tuesday that Fr. Uzhunnalil had been freed and brought to the Vatican City. The head of the Salesian order to which Fr. Uzhunnalil belongs, Don AF Artime, said they have no knowledge of any ransom having been paid.

Fr. Uzhunnalil lost about 30 kg during his ordeal and was generally weakened. Fr. Uzhunnalil said his captors procured tablets to treat his diabetes and took care of him by giving him food and encouraging him to exercise indoors.

Fr. Uzhunnalil expressed his thanks to the Narendra Modi government for its concern to secure his release.

“I am thankful to the President Ram Nath Kovind and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and all the Ministers who have expressed concern,” Fr. Uzhannalil said.

Fr. Uzhunnalil, abducted by terrorists in Aden in March last year, was rescued from captivity from an undisclosed location in Yemen. The Sultanate of Oman helped to find and rescue him.

He will be flown to Kerala later.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 8:42:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/yemeni-captors-did-not-harm-me-uzhunnalil/article19699178.ece

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