Monday 18 March 2019 9:27 AM UTC
CHRISTCHURCH March 18: It was revealed that one of the victims who died in the New Zealand mosque shootings last week was a woman from Kerala. The victim has been identified as 25-year-old Ansi Alibava from Kodungallur in Kerala.
Ansi alongside her husband Abdul Nazar, 34 had been living in New Zealand for over an year. Ansi was pursuing her Masters Degree in agriculture. Abdul Nassar was working in a private firm.
The family has been told that Anshi and Abdul Nazar were in the mosque when the attack took place. The couple tried to run away after seeing the armed terrorist. While, Anshi was shot from behind, Abdul Nazar managed to escape unhurt in the attack.
His relatives have told India Today that the mortal remains will be handed over to the family by Monday morning.
Kerala government has assured that the mortal remains will be brought back to Kerala within four days. Meanwhile, some organisations in New Zealand have requested that Ansi be cremated in New Zealand itself, which will later be turned into a memorial. However, her family has turned down the request.
Meanwhile, the Kerala community in Christchurch has tightened around Abdul Nazar to help him through the coming days and months.
Nazar wants to repatriate his wife’s body back to Kerala to be home with her family.
The Kerala community in New Zealand has started a Givealittle page to help him pay back the $70,000 New Zealand dollar- ($48,000) loan they took out in India to pay for Ansi Alibava’s studies.
Nassar wants to send his wife’s body back to Kerala to be home with her mother and brother. Her father died several years ago.
Nazar is unsure what the future holds, but he says he knows he wants to stay in Christchurch, where he and his wife spent most of their married life together.
“She had so many dreams,” he says. “No one would expect something like this would happen. There are a lot of good people here … This shouldn’t happen to any family.”
Nazar and Ansi were both inside Al Noor mosque — men sat on the left, women on the right — when the first shots were fired in one of New Zealand’s worst mass shootings.
Speaking to CNN he said: “Right before the main prayer, I heard a single shot firing and I thought that some kids outside might have popped a balloon,” says Nazer, in his native language Malayalam.
Seconds later a series of staccato shots from a high-powered weapon sent 300 or so people in the mosque scrambling for the exit.
Nazer says he was close to an emergency door and escaped after someone smashed the glass. Others were not so lucky. “People started falling over me, I saw people with blood on their shirts,” he says.
He ran to a neighboring house and phoned the police for help before returning to the mosque to find his wife, who he hadn’t seen since they’d taken their seats.
The scene that confronted him was horrifying. He was later informed by the police that Ansi too died of shot wounds.
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