5 Indians confirmed dead in NZ attack

New Delhi, Mar 17 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 3/17/2019 12:14:10 PM IST

Five Indians were among the 50 people killed by a gunman who opened fire on worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, in the worst attack on Muslims in New Zealand, the Indian High Commission said on Sunday.

The attacker, identified by authorities as Australia-born Brenton Tarrant, 28, reportedly targeted immigrants during Friday prayers. Witnesses said victims were shot at close range.

The High Commission confirmed on Sunday that five Indians were killed in the attack.

“With a very heavy heart we share the news of loss of precious lives of our 5 nationals in ghastly terror attack in #Christchurch,” it tweeted.

It identified them as: Maheboob Khokhar; Ramiz Vora; Asif Vora; Ancia Alibava; and Ozair Kadir.

In another tweet later, the High Commission informed that Immigration NZ has set up a dedicated webpage to expedite visa for family members of Christchurch victims. (

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.

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.

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.

Efforts on to bring back body of Kerala woman

All efforts are being made to bring the mortal remains of the 27-year-old woman from Kerala, killed in the in the Christchurch terror attacks, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said here Sunday.

Ancia Alibava from Kodungallur in Thrissur district, among the 49 people who were killed in the shootouts at two mosques, was pursuing her M.Tech degree in an Agricultural University there.

She had gone to the mosque to offer prayers along with her husband Abdul Nazar when the shootout took place. Ancia was reportedly in the women’s section.

Her husband had a miraculous escape and informed relatives in Kerala about the tragedy.

NORKA Roots (a department which provides all information pertaining to Non Resident Keralites) was in constant touch with the Indian High Commissioner in New Zealand, the CMO statement said.

The High commission officials were informed by New Zealand Police on Sunday morning that the body would be released within 24 hours.

NORKA Roots officials said as soon as the body is handed over, it would be brought to Kerala within four days.

Meanwhile, a pall of gloom descended on the young woman’s hometown with her family waiting anxiously for her mortal remains to be brought back for the final journey.

According to media reports, the family has also rejected the request of the New Zealand government to perform the last rites in that country.

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