Father Tom Uzhunnalil, who was freed after being kept in captivity suspectedly by the ISIS for 18 months in strife-torn Yemen, on Friday reached Bengaluru, where he met priests of his religious order. “I thank God almighty. I thank everybody in the name of Jesus,” Uzhunnalil, who had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj yesterday, told reporters at the airport here after arriving from Delhi.
The 59-year-old Catholic priest had returned to Delhi yesterday after rest and recuperation in the Vatican City.
Uzhunnalil belongs to the Congregation of Salesians of Don Bosco and was abducted reportedly during a terrorist attack in Aden and taken to an undisclosed place.
He was welcomed by Bengaluru Development Minister K J George and several priests, besides Christian leaders at the airport.
After his arrival, he was driven to Don Bosco Provincial House where he was welcomed by Father Jose Koyickal, the Vice Provincial of Bengaluru Province.
He also attended a meeting at St.John’s Medical College and Hospital.
Uzhunnalil reached Yemen in 2010 and was serving the Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity of St. Mother Teresa and the catholic population there.
“I do not know how to thank God. He made it possible. My mind is clear. I thank the Almighty. I thank the government of India, of various other countries.
“The Hindu brothers who worshipped for my well-being, the Muslim brothers who prayed to Allah for my safety. I now belong to entire world,” Uzhunnalil had told reporters in Delhi yesterday.
The priest had met the prime minister and the external affairs minister and thanked them for their support.