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 the speedy recovery of the injured and underscored India's solidarity with the 'friendly people of New Zealand at this difficult time'.
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.
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 Ahmed's family. I request @KTRTRS @TelanganaCMO @MEAIndia @SushmaSwaraj to make necessary arrangements for the Khursheed family,' he said in a tweet.
India's High Commission said that any Indian national affected by the attacks can contact it for assistance.
Expressing shock over the incident, the mission tweeted two contact numbers 021803899 and 021850033 for those affected.
Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh tweeted,"India stands with New Zealand in this hour of grief & sorrow and offers it's 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.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi also condemned the mass shootings and termed it 'a despicable act of terrorism'.
He said the world stands in need of compassion and understanding and not bigotry and hate-filled extremism.
'The New Zealand Shooting is a despicable act of terrorism, that must be condemned unequivocally. The world stands in need of compassion and understanding.
'Not bigotry and hate filled extremism. My condolences to the families of the victims. My prayers go out to those who were injured,' he said on Twitter.
'What happened in New Zealand is a crime against humanity. It is a dangerous reminder that hatred and bigotry must be fought at every turn.
'The families of the victims remain in our thoughts & prayers,' he said.
Condemning the terror attack, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said 'terrorism in any form must be defeated.'
Banerjee said on her official twitter handle, 'Terrorism in any form must be defeated. Humanity is about spreading peace and harmony. Strongly condemn the dastardly terror attack in New Zealand.'
'Condolences to the grieving families and strength to the injured to recover,' she tweeted.