- Official confirmation on the missing persons is still awaited
- Two Indians have died in the mosque attacks in New Zealand
- Asaduddin Owaisi said a third Indian is battling for his life
Nine people from India or of Indian origin have gone missing after Friday's twin shootings at two mosques in Christchurch in which 49 people have died, the Indian envoy in New Zealand has said. Two Indians have died in the attacks, a third is battling for his life, Asaduddin Owaisi, the leader of AIMIM (All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen Party) has said.
The gunmen had struck during the Friday prayers, barging into the mosques and shooting at will. The carnage also continued outside where passers-by were targeted. 49 people died and around 20 were injured in the attacks.
The shooting is being treated as terrorism, the motive racial, the police said after preliminary inquiries. One of the three persons arrested - an Australian in his late 20s - is considered the shooter. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has called it one of the "darkest days" for the peaceful nation.
In a letter to the New Zealand Prime Minister, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has "strongly condemned the attacks", the foreign ministry said.
"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," High Commissioner Sanjiv Kohli tweeted.
The High Commission has also tweeted, offering help.
We are shocked to hear about the shooting in #Christchurch Any Indians needing assistance should contact us at 021803899 or 021850033. @indianweekender@indiannewslink@MEAIndia@IndianDiplomacy@WIAWellington@kohli_sanjiv@BhavDhillonnz— India in New Zealand (@IndiainNZ) March 15, 2019
Asaduddin Owaisi has sought help from foreign minister Sushma Swaraj for the brother of one of the victims. The family is from Hyderabad.
Indian shot in New Zealand mosque attack, his Hyderabad family seeks urgent visa https://t.co/2Q8EYFnZ6F— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) March 15, 2019
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.— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) March 15, 2019
I request @KTRTRS@TelanganaCMO@MEAIndia@SushmaSwaraj to make necessary arrangements for the Khursheed family
In another tweet, Mr Owaisi said: "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."
In the evening, the foreign ministry issued a statement that read, "The Prime Minister stressed India's strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and of all those who support such acts of violence. He stressed that hatred and violence have no place in diverse and democratic societies".