Thiruvananthapuram: Sixty tiny tots, dressed as infant Jesus, have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention for the early release of Father Tom Uzhunnalil, a Keralite priest who was kidnapped in Yemen last year by suspected ISIS militants.
The children, aged between four and five, belonging to the Sacred Heart Church at Kumbalangi near Kochi, handed over the letters written in Hindi, English and Malayalam to Ernakulam MP, Professor K V Thomas, who was present at the function.
The children were helped by their parents and priests in writing the letters, a church source said. Thomas said he would hand over the letters to the Prime Minister as early as possible.
“I am planning to go to Delhi on Tuesday night and will try to get Mr Modi’s appointment either on Wednesday or Friday,” he said. “Parish priest and 20 other members are also coming to Delhi and we will try to meet the Prime Minister on Wednesday or Friday,” he added
Earlier, special prayers and candle light vigils had been held in various parts of Kerala for the release of the 55-year-old Salesian priest, Father Tom Uzhunnalil, who was abducted in March 2016.
The priest, who was abducted when ISIS fighters stormed the Old People’s Home in the port city of Aden on March 4, had made an emotive video plea to the President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as Pope Francis and the Christian community across the globe to work together for his release.
“If I were an European, I would have been taken more seriously by the authorities and (they) would have got me released. I am a priest from India and perhaps, therefore, I am not considered of much value. I am sad about this,” he had rued, pointing to the fact that a French woman, reportedly kidnapped in the Yemeni city of Sanana, had been freed.