Judith Desouza, an NGO worker working for the upliftment and welfare of women and children in Afghanistan was abducted along with her driver and security guard while returning back after having dinner around 10:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 9, 2016.
Judith completed her graduation with English from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata, followed by a Master’s in Social Work from Mumbai University. She then worked for many years in many pockets of India doing improvement and wellness work for the poor and the underprivileged. She was chiefly influenced by her mentor, Padmasree Sister Ceril to work for the development of underprivileged people. She took up the project of working in Afghanistan, despite being warned of its dangers and backdrops. Ironically, she was to return home in Kolkata just the next week. Her family members, including her old parents, her sister Agnes and brother Jerome, who works in Bangalore are now careworn and have received numerous calls from the MEA (Ministry of External Affairs), India assuring their support and assistance in the matter.
The abduction is presumed to be the handiwork of Taliban militants. However, until now, no group has owned responsibility for the action. The Indian ambassador for Afghanistan, Manpreet Vohra said they were constantly in talks with Afghanistan over the matter and ministry of Afghanistan has vouched for all possible assistance in this regard. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj personally prioritised bringing Judith back as the central issue for India, as she is “India’s daughter” and has been reassuring her family ever since, who have been hoping and praying for the well-being for their daughter.
A candlelight vigil along with prayers in several churches were held in the city for the return and well-being of Judith.
The Taliban has been notorious for ravaging indiscriminate wars, terrorism, crime and brutality against humans. It has been in the news for the past 15 years for its crimes against humanity. It has also been a topic for several movie flicks, like Escape From Taliban (based on the true story of Sushmita Banerjee who was executed by militants only a few years back) and Kabul Express.
The Taliban also recently skinned alive a 21-year old man named Fazl Ahmad. Officials confirmed his fault as being distantly related to a family member, suspected of killing a Taliban commander. He was dragged out of his house last December, and was blinded by the militants. While he was alive and still screaming, these ripped out his skin off his chest, leaving his heart exposed. They then, threw him off a 10-storey cliff.