Kerala priest Tom Uzhunnalil, who was freed from Islamic State's captivity after 18 months, has expressed his gratitude towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind and all the ministers involved in efforts to free him from captivity.
The priest was abducted during a terrorist raid on a Missionaries of Charity-run old age home in Aden in Yemen on March 4, 2016.
Thankful to the President, PM, all ministers concerned & countrymen. May god bless them all: Father Tom Uzhunnalil who was rescued from ISIS— ANI (@ANI) September 16, 2017
He was rescued from captivity in Yemen on September 12 and then flown to the Vatican. In his first video message after being released on September 12, Father Uzhunnalil said he was "happy, strong in mind and soul" though he needed to recuperate.
Father Tom was rescued after intervention of Oman's foreign ministry.
The Catholic Church, political leaders and family members of Father Uzhunnalil had earlier thanked the governments of India and Oman for the efforts taken to secure his release.
Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) President and Major Archbishop of Syro Malankara church Baselios Cardinal Cleemis Catholicos and Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, CBCI Secretary General, said the church was grateful to the government of India and all concerned for the steps taken to secure his release.
Father Uzhunnalil, who belongs to Bharananganam in Pala in Kottayam, was abducted from the port city of Aden after the terror group attacked a care home run by Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity. There were several video messages from him after the incident, asking for help.