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Kerala joyous over priest's release from Omani rebels

DH News Service, Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 13 2017, 3:05 IST
Fr Tom Uzhunnalil. The picture released by the Oman authorities. Photo credit: twitter

Fr Tom Uzhunnalil. The picture released by the Oman authorities. Photo credit: twitter

The mood was celebratory for members of Fr Tom Uzhunnalil’s family in Ramapuram, Kottayam district, while leaders across the political spectrum also rejoiced at his release from Omani militants.

Representatives of the Catholic Church Tuesday lauded efforts of the Omani government and the Centre in securing the priest’s release.

“All assistance will be provided for his return to Kerala and for his follow-up medical treatment,” Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.

In a video shot in captivity on April 15, Fr Uzhunnalil had appealed for help in his release and said his health was deteriorating quickly and he required immediate hospitalisation.

Congress leaders Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala and Kerala Congress (M) chief K M Mani were among the leaders who expressed joy at the release of the 57-year-old Salesian priest.

BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan lauded timely intervention of the Omani government and said the priest’s release was secured after concerted efforts by the Centre, in particular Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj.

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