On Friday, High Commissioner of India to New Zealand, Sanjiv Kohli, said that at least nine people of Indian nationality or Indian origin are missing after shootings at two mosques in New Zealand's Christchurch earlier today. Forty-nine people lost their lives in the gruesome act.
Kohli tweeted "As per updates received from multiple sources, there are 9 missing persons of indian nationality/origin. Official confirmation still awaited. Huge crime against humanity. Our prayers with their families, My deep gratitude to members of the community in Christchurch who are working through the night to get updates for us on the victims of today's dastardly attack. Cant be a better example than this of dedication and solidarity".
It is to be note that the gunman who shot 49 people dead is said to be an Australian. Prior to livestreaming his rampage, he had reportedly published a racist manifesto on Twitter. The New Zealand government has, however, refused to share the video, saying it could be illegal to share the clip showing the gunman shooting at worshippers from close range.
Meanwhile, the Indian High Commission in New Zealand has issued two phone numbers for any Indian caught up in the Christchurch mosque massacre. The mission tweeted "We are shocked to hear about the shooting in Christchurch. Any Indians needing assistance should contact us at 021803899 or 021850033,". In New Delhi, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said: “Our mission is in touch with local authorities to ascertain more details. It is a sensitive matter and therefore we can't give confirmed numbers/names till we are absolutely certain.”
Meantime, Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, the chief of All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen Party, claimed that an Indian has been shot at in the massacre. "A video from #ChristChurch shows one Ahmed Jehangir who was shot. His brother Iqbal Jehangir is a resident of Hyderabad & would like to go to NZ for Ahmed's family.” He said in a tweet "I request @KTRTRS @TelanganaCMO @MEAIndia @SushmaSwaraj to make necessary arrangements for the Khursheed family,".
Owaisi said in a series of tweets "These are Mr. Khursheed's passport details. His brother is serious & his family has little support. I'm only requesting the immediate support of your good offices in expediting his visa process. He'll make all arrangements to travel to NZ by himself,". As per eyewitnesses, victims included women and children as well.