09/09/2014, 00.00
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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.

Kabul (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Fr. Alexis Prem Kumar, SJ, the Indian Jesuit kidnapped in Afghanistan last June, "is alive and safe. We are working for his release", announced India's Foreign Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, yesterday afternoon, breaking silence on the priest's fate. 

A native of Tamil Nadu, Fr. Prem Kumar SJ was in charge of the Afghan section of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). He was seized last June 2 in Herat province, Afghanistan, by unidentified gunmen.

In a letter sent to the chief minister Jayalalithaa in June, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that at this stage the main concern was to ensure the integrity of the ongoing efforts for Fr. Kumar's release and "to make sure that he is not injured."

"I can assure you that the government will spare no efforts - Modi had written - in ensuring Fr. Kumar's safe and speedy release. I will continue to monitor the situation closely".

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