There is goodness in everybody," says Father Tom Uzhunnalil
New Delhi, Sept 28 The Kerala-based Christian priest Father Tom Uzhunnalil, who was released from ISIS captivity earlier this month, on his return on Thursday said "there is goodness in everybody" and had they been "not good" his return would not have been possible."I pray for everybody....there is goodness in everybody and had they not been good, my return would not have been possible," Father Uzhunnalil told a crowded press conference here.To a question, the 59-year-old priest said, he was not aware whether his captors were ISIS or not -- but hastened to add in the same breadth: "I feel God wants me to pray for my captors, for their change of heart and for peace in the world".
"I was confined to a room that had ventilation. I had a small sponge like mattress on which I used to sit and sleep. I had fever twice, but it did not persist. On another occasion I had severe shoulder pain. But that too disappeared in two days," he said.
Father Uzhunnalil, who hails from Ramapuram in Kottayam district of Kerala, declined to comment on the alleged of 'Islamic fundamentalist' forces in coastal areas of Kerala -- adding he hardly knew anything on those matters.
The priest, abducted on March 4, 2016 reportedly in an incident of terrorist attack in Aden by ISIS,
on his return home was earlier received by Minister of State for Tourism K J Alphons.
Father Uzhunnalil also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj earlier in the capital.
"Prime Minister said he was very happy.....and asked to care of my health and work," he said taking a volleys of questions.
Asked to share memories or any anecdotes of his 18-month long stay with the alleged Islamic terrorists and abductors, Father said, "I firmly believe that nothing will happen to any one of without God's wish".
Father said, certainly there was "loneliness" in his life during the 18 months stay of captivity.
"I never lost faith in God...I never feared death or shivered," he said.
Answering another question on whether ever he felt, he would "not make it", the priest said, "Thank God, I never felt like that...I never cried...I did not think that I am going to be killed in the next moment...I thank God for that".
To another question, the priest said, he was not aware whether any ransom has been paid for his release. But he said, "Initially they used to ask me....who will save you, whether your government help? Whether Bishop will help or Will Holy Father will help".
He said, "my captors spoke only in Arabic which I could not understand....They did not seem to understand much English".
Asked out of his 18-month stay with his captors, what did he feel about the organsiation ISIS or the abductors as individuals, he said: "I do not know whether they were IS or not......".
Whether he was getting "sympathetic" to his captors due to prolonged stay with them, Father Uzhunnalil said, "there's goodness in everybody".