19 July 2024

7 Indians among 50 killed in ChCh mosque massacre

By Gurbir Singh:

Seven Indian nationals are among the 50 victims now confirmed dead in the Christchurch terror attack. Earlier after the attack on Friday, Sanjiv Kohli, the Indian High Commissioner in NZ had tweeted “there are 9 missing persons of Indian nationality/ origin.” One Indian person is reported to be recovering from gunshot wounds.

Nationals from Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Indonesia and Afghanistan are among the other victims. As the situation is still evolving, the authorities have only partially released the list and is first sharing it with families of the victims. Some of the names,however, have been confirmed by respective governments or media of those countries.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand government has announced priority processing of Visa applications for the families of the people killed or injured in the mass shooting in Christchurch mosques on Friday.

Family members of the victims seeking New Zealand visas urgently are advised to apply online for a visitor visa, and then email the particulars, with reference number in the subject line to: NZEmergencyVisa@ mbie.govt.nz

The link for applying the Visitor’s Visa is: https://www2.logon.realme.govt.nz/cls/logon.logon?cid=1

The Indian High Commission in NZ is also actively pursuing up to date information and coordinating with the authorities here. Today, the Commission has also set up a support group of Indians in Christchurch to provide assistance to affected families.

The Indian victims of this tragedy are: Maheboob Khokar, Ramiz Vora, Asif Vora, Ansi Alibava, Ozair Kadir, Mohammed Juned Kara, and Mohammad Farhaj Ahsan.

Two of the Indian victims
Ansi Alibava (left) and Farhaj Ahsan

The Indian High Commission today only confirmed names of the first five in this list of those killed. Indian media, however, yesterday had reported deaths of the other  two quoting family sources.

Software engineer, Farhaj Ahsan (30), was from Hyderabad (India) and did his master’s degree at the Auckland University in 2010. He was doing projects for a company in Christchurch and used to regularly offer Friday prayers at the Al Noor mosque.

He is survived by his wife, Insha Aziz, his 3-year-old daughter and 7-month-old son. His father, Mohammad Sayeeduddin was reportedly inconsolable in Nadeem Colony of Toli Chowki area of Hyderabad, when he was learnt about the shocking news of his son’s death.

Ansi Karippakulam Alibava, a 25-year-old married woman from Kodangalur (Kerala, India) was among the 50 victims.  Ancy, who had migrated to New Zealand with her husband Abdul Nassar last year, was doing her post-graduation in Christchurch. She was shot in the legs and succumbed to her injuries yesterday.

Two other Indian nationals, Arif Vohra and his nephew Rameez Vohra were from Gujarat.

Ahmed Iqbal Jehangir (from Hyderabad) is reportedly recovering from bullet injuries to his chest and shoulder. Ahmed, settled in New Zealand for nearly 15 years, runs a Hyderabadi food restaurant, near the Al Noor mosque.

India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has reportedly sent a letter to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Friday, saying that “hatred and violence have no place in diverse and democratic societies”.

India’s Minister of External Affairs of India, Sushma Swaraj has also tweeted her grief and strongly condemning “the dastardly terrorist attacks at the places of worship in Christchurch…Our thoughts and prayers are with the affected families.”

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