Sushma Swaraj fondly remembered by Judith D'Souza's family

Kolkata: BJP leader Sushma Swaraj's qualities of empathy, human approach and easy accessibility were fondly remembered by the family of Judith D' Souza, who was kidnapped by suspected militants in Afghanistan in 2016 and brought back from their clutches.

Swaraj, who was the then external affairs minister, had been in constant touch with the hapless family here during the month-and-half-long ordeal when Judith went missing and would call up to inquire about her aged parents, the family recollected on Wednesday.

"She was a down to earth minister who took up the matter (to bring back Judith) as a personal case. She had assured us that India would leave no stone unturned," the woman's sister Agnes said.

Swaraj, a BJP stalwart and a noted parliamentarian, died in Delhi on Tuesday night after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Agnes recollects the former external affairs minister as saying "Judith is not only your (Agnes) sister but also the daughter of India" to assure her.

The woman, a senior technical officer of the private international development agency Aga Khan Foundation, was kidnapped by suspected militants on June 9, 2016 from outside her office in the heart of Kabul and returned on July 23 that year.

Recounting the trauma, Agnes said that the family came to know of the abduction on June 10 from calls from the ministry of external afairs.

"Later Sushmaji herself spoke to our family members and assured us that Judith will be brought back. She told us that Judith is not only our sister but also daughter of the country and no one can harm India's daughter," Agnes told PTI.

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