Judith’s family awaits reunion amid privacy

Judith’s family awaits reunion amid privacy 

Kolkata, July 23 (IANS) Patiently awaiting her homecoming, the family of Indian aid worker Judith D’Souza, who was rescued after being abducted in Kabul in June, is looking forward to a long-pending reunion sans prying eyes.

Unlike June 10 when the news of Judith’s abduction in Afghanistan cast a pall of gloom over the D’Souza household in central Kolkata, Saturday morning – despite the rain-laden clouds – turned out to be a radiant one for Judith’s elderly parents and sister.

Judith will reach New Delhi on Saturday evening, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said.

“It is an occupational hazard. It could have happened to anyone. Judith is a thorough professional. We are looking forward for a much-awaited reunion,” Judith’s brother Jerome, who is also in the development sector, told IANS.

Asked what would be Judith’s next course of action, Jerome said: “Let her come back, let her spend some time, let her take a break and then she can take a call.”

Profusely thanking the Indian government, Jerome stressed on privacy.

“It is a family issue and we want to be away from glare of the media,” he said.

Judith had come home three and a half-months ago and was set to be back in Kolkata in June.

Mirroring Jerome’s sentiment, Judith’s sister Agnes also insisted on the same as reporters made a beeline for their first floor residence.

“We are thankful to the Indian government for getting my sister back. We are also grateful to (Sushma) Swaraj. We request the media to respect our privacy,” a smiling Agnes told the media here.

The D’Souzas’ joy infected the neighbourhood as well.

Long-time neighbours said the D’Souzas were “finally breathing a sigh of relief”.

“Whenever I used to meet Judith’s mother, I used to ask her about updates and she would say ‘pray for her’,” a neighbour told the media here.

Hailing from Kolkata, Judith, 40, who works for the Aga Khan Network, was seized by gunmen on June 9 in the Qala-e-Fatullah area of Kabul while she was returning home after dinner at a friend’s place.

Appreciating Ambassador Manpreet Vohra for “an outstanding job”, Sushma Swaraj said: “I have spoken to Judith. She is reaching Delhi this evening. Ambassador @VohraManpreet is accompanying her.”

In her tweet, she added: “Thank you Afghanistan – for all your help and support in rescuing Judith.”Judith was working with the NGO as a senior technical adviser since July 2015.

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