'I thank God', says released captive

Father Alexis Prem Kumar SJ has thanked God and the Indian Prime Minister for his release. He is expecting to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi today after arriving back in Delhi yesterday.

Indian Jesuit Fr Prem Kumar was abducted by the Taliban from Herat in Afghanistan on 2 June 2014. Indian officials said they would not be sharing details of the efforts that led to his release. However, as he emerged at Delhi airport, he told the waiting press: “God has saved me, I thank him first. It is because of Mr Modi I am back in India.”

Fr Prem Kumar, the country director for the Jesuit Refugee Service in Afghanistan, was visiting a JRS-supported educational institution near Herat when he was kidnapped eight months ago.

India’s External Affairs Ministry said Fr Prem Kumar’s release was secured after it was “pursued by our leadership, including at the highest levels [by] the Prime Minister.” But the government released few details, and declined to disclose if the abductors had demanded a ransom.

Photo by Arun Sharma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images