Today has been termed as one of the “darkest days” in New Zealand’s history by the New Zealand PM. A 28 year old identified as Brenton Tarrant went on a killing spree at two Mosques, the Al-Noor Mosque and the Linwood Masjid — in Christchurch, New Zealand. According to initial reports, a man in black clothes entered the mosque during the afternoon prayers at about 1:45 pm ( 6:15 am IST) after which more than 50 gun shots were heard. Len Peneha , a resident who lives nearby recalls “I saw dead people everywhere. There were three in the hallway, at the door leading into the mosque, and people inside the mosque… It’s unbelievable nutty. I don’t understand how anyone could do this to these people, to anyone. It’s ridiculous,”.
“What has happened in Christchurch is an extraordinary act of unprecedented violence. It has no place in New Zealand. Many of those affected will be members of our migrant communities. New Zealand is their home they are us,” New Zealand PM Ardern said.
Police Commissioner, Mike Bush addressing the Media said as of 9pm, 49 people had lost their lives in the shootings at the Masjid Al Noor on Deans Ave and the Linwood Masjid on Linwood Ave on Friday.he also added “One person, a male in his late 20s, has been charged with murder, and should appear in the Christchurch Court tomorrow morning,” .
Brenton Tarrant before the attack, identified himself online and live streamed the whole incident on facebook. On a now-deleted Twitter account, Tarrant reportedly posted multiple photos of what appear to be machine gun magazines and a link to what is being described as a manifesto for his actions. The mosque was packed for the Friday afternoon prayers with the players of the Bangladeshi cricket team just around the corner of the mosque where the attack took place.
With condolences for the victims flowing from around India and the world , the perpetual debate on taking a tough stand on terror is again in the spot light. UN with it policies on terrorism has largely been ineffective in dealing with it. PM Modi, continuing with his tough stand on terror, in gathering of Indian diaspora in Brussels had said “We put pressure on the UN. The UN is celebrating its 70th anniversary but till now it has not been able to arrive at a definition for terrorism. If defining it takes so much time, then how many years will it take to tackle terrorism,” he also added “it is the world body’s responsibility to come out in clear terms who it considers a terrorist and who is on the side of humanity. Once it has to be made clear so that the world can decide which path it should follow and only then peace will prevail,”
India , a victim of terrorism for decades, has been spear heading anti terror movements in the Indian subcontinent. Recent terror attacks in Pulwama saw a tough stand by the Indian Government which ultimately led to the destruction of the terrorist camp in Balakot, Pakistan in a counter terror operation by the Indian Air force. At a time when the world came together to condemn the Masood Azhar led JeM for the cowardly attack, China being a permanent member of United Nations Security council again came to the rescue of Pakistan and terrorists by blocking efforts of the UNSC to brand Pakistani terrorist Masood Azhar as a UN designated terrorist. This incoherent attitude of world powers on the critical issue of terrorism is certainly not a positive sign moving ahead in the 21st century. A strong will and a firm consensus against terrorism is the need of the hour.