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New Zealand Christchurch terrorist attack: From meeting son to praying for newborn, six Indians among 50 killed

Those killed have been identified as Mohammad Juned Kara, Ancy, Ramiz, Arif, Mehboob Khokhar and Farhaj Ahsan. (File/Reuters)

At least six Indians were killed when an Australia-born gunman opened fire with assault rifles during Friday prayers in Christchurch, New Zealand. Indians were among the 50 people killed by a white supremacist, who opened fire on worshippers at two mosques, in the worst attack on Muslims in the country’s modern history.

According to a report in The Indian Express, those killed have been identified as Mohammad Juned Kara, Ancy, Ramiz, Arif, Mehboob Khokhar and Farhaj Ahsan.

Among the victims, was Ancy (23) from Kodungallur in Kerala’s Thrissur district and the wife of Ponnadathu Abdul Nazar. Nazar works at a supermarket in Christchurch. The couple had moved to New Zealand a year ago after they wed in 2017.

A relative told Indian Express that Nazar called his family on Saturday about the tragedy and told Ancy was injured. Another relative working in New Zealand went to Christchurch and identified Ancy’s body and met Nazar.

Mohammad Juned Kara was from Navsari in Gujarat. Ramiz and his father Arif — both from Panigate in Vadodara — were offering namaz at the Al Noor mosque to pray for Ramiz’s newborn five-day-old daughter. The 65-year-old resident of Juhapura in Ahmedabad, Mehboob Khokhar, was visiting his son in Christchurch. Farhaj Ahsan (31) was from Hyderabad.

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According to a report by The Indian Express, while sources in the government said that two Indian nationals were injured and seven reported missing, including two New Zealand nationals of Indian origin, four families in Gujarat and two families across Telangana and Kerala Saturday prepared for the desolate trip to bring home the bodies of their relatives for the last rites.

Bodies of those gunned down had remained inside the mosque awaiting autopsies and identification by increasingly distraught family members desperate to begin Muslim burial rites. Islamic law calls for bodies to be cleansed and buried as soon as possible after death, usually within 24 hours.

On Friday, shortly after the attack, India’s High Commissioner in New Zealand Sanjiv Kohli had tweeted that “there are 9 missing persons of Indian nationality/origin”. But, he had added, official confirmation was awaited, PTI reported.

The high commission said its helpline numbers — 021803899 & 021850033 — will remain available round the clock to assist families of the those affected by the attack.

“We deeply mourn the loss of all other innocent lives including people of Indian origin.”

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It also said a group of Community leaders is being constituted in Christchurch and their names and numbers will be circulated shortly.

Meanwhile, it added, those who need assistance while transiting through Auckland may contact 021531212.

Expressing India’s solidarity with the people of New Zealand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said hatred and violence have no place in diverse and democratic societies.

About 200,000 Indian and Indian-origin people live in New Zealand. Over 30,000 of them are students, according to the Indian High Commission’s data available on its website.

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Source: Financial Express