Father Tom was denied nod to travel to Yemen

His second cousin Thomas Uzhunnalil confirmed that the person in the video is Fr Tom.

Father Tom Uzhunnalil was abducted by the Islamic State from Yemen in March, earlier this year.

India has said it has reached out to Saudi Arabia in its efforts to try and secure the release of an Indian priest who was abducted in Yemen by suspected Islamic State (ISIS) operatives in March.

Pope Francis did appeal for the priest's release April 10 after his Sunday Regina Caeli address in St. Peter's Square. Though there were news reports that "everything is being done to get me released quickly". He added: "My health is deteriorating".

"Dear Pope Francis...as a father, please take care of my life", Father Tom Uzhunnalil said. He further says that he had to suffer because he is an Indian citizen and a French woman, who was made captured along with him, was released following the intervention by the French government.

On Monday, in a video message that his captors sent, the Keralite priest was seen making an emotional appeal to the Indian government for his release.

A tired Father Uzhunnalil in a grey sweat shirt with his grey beard and hair can be seen sitting in front of a beige and pink floral printed curtain in an unknown location in the video.

"If I were a European priest I would've been taken more seriously by authorities and people".

"We've spared no effort & we'll spare no effort to secure his release from captivity", Sushma Swaraj said on Tuesday. "I am perhaps not considered of much value", he had said.

MEA says rescue efforts on, govt in touch with Yemen.

"You are aware of the circumstances now prevailing in Yemen where fighting is going on with no central authority in that country", Swarup said. Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the government is aware of the challenging circumstances in which the priest is held captive even as a video showing him seeking help surfaced in the web. Honourable President and Prime Minister of India, I am very sad that nothing has been done seriously in my regard.

  • Delores Daniels