CHENNAI: Feelings of relief and joy today serenaded the house of Father Alexis Prem Kumar of Devakottai in Tamil Nadu, who has been released after being abducted in Afghanistan eight months back.
"We do not have words to express our joy. We have been praying for the last eight months for his release. It is a very good moment. Our prayers have been answered," younger brother of the priest John Joseph said.
"We were in touch with the Indian government every day. Today around 4.10 PM Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to my father," he said.
Alexis Prem Kumar is the eldest son of Antony Sami and Mariathangam. John Joseph and Albert Manohar are his younger brothers. He has two sisters Sahayadh and Elizabeth Rani.
The family hails from Devakottai in Sivaganga district in Tamil Nadu. Joseph said the family has been praying for the last eight months for the release of Prem Kumar.
"Father, myself and Elizabeth are going to Delhi today to receive my brother," he said. 47-year-old Prem Kumar, an aid worker, was abducted from Herat in 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.
Four days after the abduction, Afghan authorities had announced that three Taliban members had been arrested in connection with the case.