Father Alexis' release: Did Modi govt pay Taliban to get him back?
New Delhi, March 5: The family of Jesuit priest Father Alexis who was rescued from captivity in Afghanistan last month, has indicated that the Modi government paid ransom money for his release.
According to media reports, Father Alexis' brother Albert Manoharan said that his brother was told by captors that negotiations were on and he may be released soon. He said the abductors also told his brothers that they are waiting for money.
Meanwhile, Congress leader has also hinted that ransom may have been paid for the release of Jesuit priest. He said if what the priest had told his family about his abduction is correct then the case needs to be investigated.
"Coincidence Father Alexis's family- ransom may have been paid to Taliban Recall IC-814 hijack lot off speculation suitcases on relief plane?" Tewari said on Twitter.
"If what Father Alexis told his family correct then it requires investigation. Similar reports around IC-814 hijack. Money and Taliban Synonymous," he added.
Father Alexis had said after his release that he was yet to figure out why he was abducted by the gunmen.
"It (abduction) was not for ransom; it was not for religious purpose, so that needs to be made very clear. It was not for both," Ananthaswamy had said.
He gave the credit of his return to Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that it was because of him that he was here.
"This is because our Prime Minister Narendra Modi (that) I am here. He saved me. This evening he talked to me when I was at the Kabul Airport. Possibly, he took a lot of interest in rescuing me," Kumar said.
Earlier, the announcement of the release of the 47-year-old private aid worker from Tamil Nadu was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi through tweets.
"Delighted at securing the release of Indian Jesuit priest Father Alexis Prem Kumar from captivity in Afghanistan," he tweeted.
Prem Kumar was abducted in Herat province in western Afghanistan by unidentified gunmen on June 2 last year.
At the time of his abduction, Prem Kumar was working with the Jesuit Refugee Service, an international NGO, and was engaged in the educational field in Afghanistan.
He was its Afghanistan Director and had been in the country for over three years. He had accompanied teachers on a visit to a JRS-supported school for returnee refugees in Sohadat village, 25-km from the city of Herat.
He was kidnapped from the school as he was about to return to Herat, the JRS had said then. Before moving to Afghanistan, Kumar had worked for the JRS, serving Sri Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu.
(With agency inputs)