New Delhi, Sep 28, 2017 : Rev Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil, who spent 18 months in captivity of Islamic militants in Yemen, arrived in New Delhi on September 28 .
“I thank God for giving me a day like this,” Rev Fr.Tom Uzhunnalil said soon after he arrived in the national capital by Air India that that landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport at 7:28 in the morning.
The 59-year-old Salesian priest was received at the airport by a team led by federal Minister of State for Tourism Alphons Kannanthanam. Members of Parliament K C Venugopal and Jose K Mani were also in the team.
The Indian Church was represented by Archbishop Kuriakose Bharanikulangara of Faridabad and heads of Salesian provinces of Delhi and Bangalore.
Rev Fr. Tom Uzhannalil later met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
“Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil, who was recently rescued from captivity in Yemen met PM @narendramodi,” the Office of the Prime Minister tweeted.
Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Raveesh Kumar tweeted: “PM @narendramodi meets Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil, who was recently rescued from captivity in Yemen.”
Fr Uzhunnalil was released from the captivity on September 12 through the intervention of the government of Oman and the Vatican.
He was abducted on March 4, 2016, from a Mother Teresa center in Aden, a port city in southern Yemen. His captors shot dead 16 people, including four Missionaries of Charity nuns, who worked in the center.