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Monday Mar 25 2019

Christchurch victim Areeb's body repatriated home to Karachi


KARACHI/WELLINGTON: The body of late Syed Areeb Ahmed, one of the 50 people martyred in the gruesome Christchurch massacre, was repatriated to his hometown of Karachi on Monday.

His body was flown to Karachi via EK-600 and was received by his father, Syed Ejaz Ahmed, and taken to Federal B. Area, the neighbourhood he resided in.

A man embraces Syed Ejaz Ahmed (R), the father of Syed Areeb Ahmed, one of the 50 people martyred in the Christchurch massacre, in Karachi, Pakistan, March 16, 2019. AFP/Rizwan Tabassum

The only son of his parents, Karachi-born Ahmed, 27, was a chartered account by profession. His first funeral prayers were offered on March 21 in New Zealand and the second one was offered at Sangam Ground in Dastagir No. 9 today afternoon.

He will be laid to rest in the Sakhi Hassan graveyard.

The bodies of foreigners killed by an Australian white supremacist gunman in the South Island city on March 15 are only now beginning to arrive back home after delays stemming from the police investigation into the massacre.

Journey home begins for foreign victims

A picture of one of the victims, Syed Areeb Ahmed, sits at a memorial site near the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 19, 2019. AFP/Glenda Kwek

Separately, the bodies of two Indian victims arrived in their homeland, officials said.

The Indian High Commission in Wellington said the bodies of the two had arrived in their homeland and a third was expected later in the day.

The relatives of another two Indian victims opted to have their loved ones buried in New Zealand, a consulate spokesperson said.

The victims, who came from across the Muslim world, were gathered for Friday prayers at two Christchurch mosques when the 28-year-old white supremacist, motivated by the extremist belief that Muslims were "invading" Western countries, went on a killing spree.

The shooter was arrested within minutes of the massacre and has been charged with murder.

The bodies of the Indian victims are believed to be among the first to be repatriated.

"I'm not sure about the status of bodies from other nationalities but I can say we went through the process as quickly as possible," a spokesperson for the Indian High Commission in Wellington said.

"We completed the procedure within a couple of days of the bodies being released."

The two repatriated Indian victims are Ansi Karippakulam Alibava, 23, a masters student from Kerala, and Ozair Kadir, 24, an aspiring commercial pilot from Hyderabad city. 

The remains of Mahboob Khokhar, a 65-year-old retiree who was visiting his son in Christchurch when he was killed, are en route to India.

The Indians buried in New Zealand are Asif and Ramiz Vora, a father-and-son duo originally from Gujarat, who had celebrated the birth of Ramiz's daughter just days before the attack.