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Body of student killed in terror attack brought to India

March 26, 2019

The body of Ansi Alibava, an Indian student killed in the New Zealand mosque attacks was returned to her grieving family in Kochi on Monday. The body of 25-year-old Alibava is among the first of the Indians killed to be brought back to India for the last rites. Alibava's family plans to hold a funeral ceremony for her in their hometown, Kodungallur.

Alibava was praying at the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch with her husband, Abdul Nazer, when an Australian gunman opened fire, killing 43 worshippers.

Another seven were murdered at another mosque when the shooter moved there later. This is one of the worst incidents of this kind in New Zealand.

Some Indian families have opted for burials in Christchurch itself. A national remembrance service for the victims will be held on Friday, two weeks after the tragedy.

Alibava, who was born into a middle-class family, was supporting her relatives after her father's death five years ago. She was studying business agriculture at Christchurch's Lincoln University and was to return to India soon. Her family said she was dedicated to studies.

Speaking to a news agency, Alibava's cousin, P H Niyas said, "She had gone there last year and the course was due to finish by April. There was to be a six-month training (course) after which she was to return home by December."

Alibava also worked part-time at a supermarket with Nazer. They were married for two years. The couple were both praying at the mosque when the shooting started. Nazer was in the men's section and escaped from the emergency exit. She was in the women's section and was caught in the line of fire. He was officially informed of her death 24 hours after the massacre.

Other Indian families who lost relatives in the attack opted for burial in Christchurch. Asif and Rameez Vora, who were killed, were buried in New Zealand. Another victim, Maheboob Khokhar's body will be returned to India this week.

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