CHENNAI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa that the Central government would spare no effort for the safe and earliest release of Father Alexis Prem Kumar, who was abducted in Afghanistan.
Within a day of receiving the letter from Jayalalithaa on June 4, Prime Minister promptly responded stating that he too was deeply concerned by the abduction of the priest.
“I have been assured that the Government of Afghanistan and the authorities in Herat are taking every possible step to ensure the early release of Father Prem Kumar,” Modi said.
It may be recalled that Modi, while addressing the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, had pointed out that the Manmohan Singh government had not responded to as many as 40 letters written by Jayalalithaa.
“The Tamil Nadu government had written 40 letters to the Centre but not a single letter was acknowledged. We need to change this attitude,” Prime Minister had said. By promptly replying to Jayalalithaa, Modi has sought to set right the aberration.
The Prime Minister, in his reply to Jayalalithaa, assured that he would monitor the situation in Afghanistan very closely.
“As you would fully appreciate, this is an extremely delicate situation and our primary concern at this stage is to ensure that he is not harmed,” he said.
The Prime Minister further said that the Indian Ambassador in Kabul had been in regular touch with the President’s Office and the security agencies.
“My National Security Advisor has also spoken to his Afghan counterpart, who had assured full and sustained efforts by the Afghan government to seek Father Prem Kumar’s release,” he added.
Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, in her letter on June 4 had requested Modi to personally intervene and take up the matter at the highest level in Afghanistan to secure the safe and early release of the priest.