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    » 06/05/2014, 00.00


    Afghanistan, a suspect in the kidnapping of Indian Jesuit is arrested

    Nirmala Carvalho

    The man is in custody for further investigation. Some residents of the District of Zendjan , where the kidnapping took place, believe Fr. Alexis Prem Kumar may be located in the district of Gulran.

    Kabul ( AsiaNews) - Afghan security forces have arrested a suspect in connection with the kidnapping of Indian Jesuit Fr. Alexis Prem Kumar SJ, who heads the national section of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). The arrest took place yesterday evening in the western province of Herat, where the kidnapping also took place. Fr. Jeyapaty SJ, rector of the Loyola College and instructed to speak to the media, told AsiaNews that "there is still no official confirmation of the arrest".

    Samiullah Qatra, head of provincial security, said that the suspect was taken into custody for further investigation.

    Afghan police and intelligence forces have launched an operation to free the 47-year old priest, who was kidnapped last June 2 in the district of Zendjan . Fr Alexis was visiting a school for refugees. He had recently returned from a trip to Iran and Pakistan. In Afghanistan since 2008, much of his work consists of assisting Afghans who have returned from these two countries through health and education programs, particularly in Bamiyan, Kabul and Herat.

    Meanwhile , the inhabitants of Zendjan believe that the kidnappers might have taken Fr. Alexis to the district of Gulran. Taliban militants are active in the area, but no one has asked for a ransom , nor claimed responsibility for the abduction.

    According to a local source for AsiaNews, anonymous for security reasons, Fr. Alexis may have been kidnapped because he is a foreigner , and not because he is a priest.


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    See also

    07/06/2014 AFGHANISTAN - INDIA
    Three Taliban arrested over kidnap of Indian Jesuit
    The Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirms that "the situation is very delicate." A group of tribals in Tamil Nadu organize a prayer vigil to demand the release of the priest.

    23/02/2015 INDIA - AFGHANISTAN
    Afghanistan, Indian Jesuit freed after eight months in captivity
    Fr. Alexis Prem Kumar, head of the Afghan section of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is back in Delhi. The organization expresses "immense gratitude" to the Indian government. Former regional director for South Asia: "Positive sign for the volunteers who work in Afghanistan."

    09/09/2014 AFGHANISTAN - INDIA
    Afghanistan, kidnapped Indian Jesuit "is alive and safe"
    This is according to the Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sushma Swaraj, who adds that New Delhi is "working for his release". Fr. Alexis Prem Kumar, SJ, was kidnapped last June.

    06/06/2014 AFGHANISTAN - INDIA
    Father of Jesuit kidnapped in Afghanistan: He helped the poor, why was he kidnapped?
    There is still no news of Fr. Alexis Prem Kumar SJ, Indian head of the Afghan section of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). His father, Anthony, speaks of his last meeting with his son: "He told me that even though Afghanistan was still under the yoke of continuing violence, the area in which he worked was peaceful and so I did not have to worry about him."

    03/06/2014 AFGHANISTAN - INDIA
    Early contacts to shed light on Indian Jesuit's kidnapping in Afghanistan
    In charge of media relations, Loyola College principal talks to AsiaNews about the case. The situation is described as "very sensitive" but no other statements have followed in this regard. Fr Alexis Kumar, 47, has been working in Afghanistan for four years.

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