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New Delhi: A Jesuit from India working among refugees has been kidnapped by unknown persons from a village in Afghanistan, a note from the Provincial of South Asia on Monday said.
“Alexis Prem Kumar SJ had gone to visit a school for the returnees in Sohadat village 25 km from Herat with the teachers. He was kidnapped from the school as he was about to return to Herat,” said the note from Father Edward Mudavassery, Jesuit Provincial of South Asia.
The 47-year-old priest belongs to Madurai Jesuit province. The incident occurred on Monday morning, Fr Mudavassery said.
Quoting their coworker, the New Delhi-based Jesuit official said the Jesuits working in Afghanistan have informed the Governor of Herat, the National Security Office and the Indian Consulate in Herat about the kidnap. “They seem to be searching for the victim.”
One Jesuit priest Fr Orville is currently at the Indian Consulate to speed up the matter, the note says.
JRS regional director Fr Stanislaus Fernandes has cancelled his trip to Europe and is returning from Mumbai late this evening to follow up the case.
“May I request your prayers for the safe return of Prem Kumar SJ,” Fr Mudavassery requested.
Fr Kumar has been working with the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) for more than a decade.
Fr Kumar joined the Society of Jesus in 1988. He had worked with Sri Lanka refugees in Tamil Nadu for six years. He has been working in Afghanistan for the past four years. He is now the JRS Country Director for Afghanistan.