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World leaders condemn Christchurch mosque shootings

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New Delhi, Mar 15: Global leaders on Friday expressed solidarity and condemned the deadly mass shooting at two mosques in New Zealand in which 49 people were killed and 40 others were injured. While some demanded strict action against the perpetrators, others held the rising “Islamophobia” as the reason behind the attacks.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote to his New Zealand counterpart expressing deep shock and grief for the families of those dead in the attacks.

Offering prayers for those injured, the Ministry of External Affairs said that the Prime Minister underscored India’s solidarity with New Zealand during the difficult times.

Stressing that India strongly condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, PM Modi said, “Hatred and violence have no place in diverse and democratic societies.”

World leaders, including US President Donald Trump and UK Prime Minister Theresa May, also expressed their condolences over the attacks as UK and France said that they have stepped up security at religious sites.

Taking to Twitter, Trump conveyed his “warmest sympathy and best wishes” to the people of New Zealand. “My warmest sympathy and best wishes go out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques. 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all,” he said.

Calling the attacks the “latest example of rising racism and Islamophobia”, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that the “anti-Islam hatred has rapidly started to take over Western communities like a cancer”.

India in touch with N Zealand authorities after mosque shootings

Christchurch/New Delhi, Mar 15 (PTI) India on Friday said its High Commission in New Zealand was ascertaining more details about the possibility of Indians being affected by the terror attacks on two Christchurch mosques and urged the community to contact the mission for any assistance.

In New Delhi, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that India’s High Commission in New Zealand is in touch with local authorities for more information.

“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,” he said.

Meanwhile, MP Asaduddin Owaisi, president of All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen Party, said that an Indian has been shot at in the incident.

“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.

“I request @KTRTRS @TelanganaCMO @MEAIndia @SushmaSwaraj to make necessary arrangements for the Khursheed family,” he said in a tweet.

“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,” Owaisi said in another tweet.

India’s High Commission said that any Indian national affected by the attacks on two Christchurch mosques can contact the mission for assistance.

Expressing shock over the incident, the mission tweeted two contact numbers 021803899 and 021850033 for providing assistance.

“We are shocked to hear about the shooting in Christchurch. Any Indians needing assistance should contact us at 021803899 or 021850033,” the Twitter account of the Indian High Commission in New Zealand said.

“Our prayers go out to everyone who is affected. Help us spread the word. Stay safe!!” it said.

Approximately 200,000 Indian and Indian-origin people live in New Zealand. There are over 30,000 Indian students in the country, according to the Indian High Commission’s data on its website.

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