A video has emerged of Salesian Fr Tom Uzhunnalil, who was kidnapped by terrorists last year, in which the priest appeals for his release. The new footage has has led to widespread calls for diplomatic efforts to end his captivity.

The priest was kidnappedduring an attack in March on a nursing home in Yemen run by the Missionaries of Charity. Four sisters and 12 others were murdered in the attack.

In the video, a visibly weak Fr Uzhunnalil made an emotional appeal for support from politicians and churchmen, claiming that he has been ignored.

The next day, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, India’s minister of state for parliamentary affairs, visited Cardinal George Alencherry, leader of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, at Church headquarters in Cochin.

The minister told Cardinal Alencherry that the government is “doing everything possible”.

Fr Uzhunnalil’s message appeared to blame both the Indian government and Church officials for failing to secure his release. He claimed that his captors had made contact with the Indian government several times but “nothing has been done seriously in my regard.”

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