CHENNAI: After an eight-month ordeal as a captive of armed men in a landlocked mountainous country, Jesuit priest Alexis Premkumar Antonysamy who was freed on Sunday said his abductors were kind to him.
“I am absolutely not aware of the real reason for my abduction. But there were no threats to my life during captivity,” said the priest at a brief press meet in Loyola College on Thursday.
Last June, the 47-year-old priest from Devakottai was abducted by a group of men in western Afghanistan while he was visiting a Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS)-supported school in Herat.
“My hands and legs were always tied either to prevent me from escaping or to ensure that I did not harm others in desperation. That was the only trouble I had. They fed me and treated me well. They even allowed me to pray every morning,” he said, recalling his experience in captivity.
Pointing out that all organisations in Afghanistan work in fear, Alexis insisted that the Afghan government must hold peace talks with militants and Taliban so that Afghans can live in peace that they deserve.
Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his efforts to rescue him and for personally welcoming him, Premkumar said, “The Indian consulate played a vital role in my rescue. The officials were very kind to me. I even wore the clothes and shoes of an official after they rescued me.”
He also thanked former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalithaa who sought the intervention of the Prime Minister on the issue.
Alexis Premkumar is likely to visit his hometown on Saturday, according to his family members.