Tewari suspects payment of ransom to secure Father Alexis' release
Hinting that ransom may have been paid for the release of Jesuit priest Father Alexis Prem Kumar Ananthaswamy, Congress leader Manish Tewari on Thursday said if what the priest had told his family about his abduction is correct then the case needs to be investigated.
New Delhi: Hinting that ransom may have been paid for the release of Jesuit priest Father Alexis Prem Kumar Ananthaswamy, Congress leader Manish Tewari on Thursday said if what the priest had told his family about his abduction is correct then the case needs to be investigated.
"Coincidence Father Alexis's family- ransom may have been paid to Taliban Recall IC-814 hijack lot off speculation suitcases on relief plane?" Tewari said on Twitter.
"If what Father Alexis told his family correct then it requires investigation. Similar reports around IC-814 hijack. Money and Taliban Synonymous," he added.
Father Alexis was rescued from captivity in Afghanistan last month.
His brother Albert Manoharan was quoted by media reports as saying that the priest had said that his abductors told him negotiations were on and he may be freed.
Father Alexis had said after his release that he was yet to figure out why he was abducted by the gunmen.
"It (abduction) was not for ransom; it was not for religious purpose, so that needs to be made very clear. It was not for both," Ananthaswamy had said.
He said the support of the government - especially that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who had personally called him - and prayers by Jesuits in Tamil Nadu helped him.
The 47-year-old Jesuit priest was abducted by unknown gunmen from Herat in June last year and was held captive for nearly eight months.
He arrived in New Delhi on Sunday after the government managed to secure his release.
The foreign ministry had said it was a difficult eight month period and the country had pursued the matter quite relentlessly and thanked everybody involved in the process.