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PM Modi condemns Christchurch attack, writes to NZ PM to express solidarity

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: March 15, 2019  | 23:42 IST

(Eds: Adds Sushma Swaraj's tweets) New Delhi, Mar 15 (PTI) Expressing "deep shock" over killings of scores of people in the Christchurch terror attack, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said hatred and violence have no place in diverse and democratic societies, and expressed India's solidarity with the people of New Zealand at this difficult time. In a letter to Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern, Modi also stressed India's strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and of all those who support such acts of violence, the External Affairs Ministry said in an official release. At least 49 worshippers were killed in attacks on the Al Noor Mosque in central Christchurch and the Linwood Mosque in the city's suburb, seen as one of the worst attacks on Muslims in that country. Observing that according to unofficial reports nine Indians are missing since the attack, a source said that "due to certain processes involved, official confirmation about Indian casualties may take a while to come in". In his letter, Modi offered heartfelt prayers for speedy recovery of the injured and underscored India's solidarity with the "friendly people of New Zealand at this difficult time". The Prime Minister has expressed his deep shock and sadness at the loss of scores of innocent lives in the heinous terrorist attack at the places of worship in Christchurch, the release said. "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," it added. Modi also expressed his deepest condolences to the bereaved families in the dastardly attack. Late on Friday night, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted, "We strongly condemn the dastardly terrorist attacks at the places of worship in Christchurch. Our heartfelt condolences to those who lost their loved ones. Our thoughts and prayers are with the affected families." She said India stands in solidarity with the people and government of New Zealand at this moment of grief. "Any Indian requiring assistance should contact Indian High Commission in New Zealand on 021803899 or 021850033. @IndiainNZ @WIAWellington @kohli_sanjiv," she tweeted. Earlier, the MEA said its High Commission is in touch with local authorities for more information and was ascertaining more details about the possibility of Indians being affected by the terror attacks. "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," MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said. Meanwhile, MP Asaduddin Owaisi, President of All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen Party, said 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 and would like to go to NZ for Ahmedís family. I request @KTRTRS @TelanganaCMO @MEAIndia @SushmaSwaraj to make necessary arrangements for the Khursheed family," he said in a tweet. Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh tweeted, "India stands with New Zealand in this hour of grief & sorrow and offers itís condolences to the bereaved families.The shootout in New Zealand underscores the importance of the global fight to counter Terrorism - the World needs to get together and defeat this demon. PTI ASK PYK TIR

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