B.C. family mourns relative's death in Mumbai
Published Thursday, November 27, 2008 11:47AM EST
Last Updated Friday, May 18, 2012 9:37PM EDT
A B.C. family is mourning the death of a relative killed in yesterday's terrorist strikes in Mumbai, India.
Jasmine Bhurji, who has relatives in Surrey, B.C., was gunned down at a hotel where she worked as a manager. The news has devastated her family, who learned of the death from her brother in India.
Her aunt, Satinder Bhui, told CTV British Columbia that she can't believe her 21-year-old niece is dead. "We are a very close-knit family," she said.
"She must have been in pain."
Her husband, Nirbhye Bhui, told CTV's Canada AM on Thursday his daughter was extremely close to her cousin.
"They were exchanging emails almost regularly," he said, adding that family gatherings will never be the same without his niece.
"She would enliven the atmosphere wherever she was," he said.
Her family said they've been told she was one of the first ones shot by gunmen who stormed locations throughout India, including luxury hotels and a train station. At least 100 people were killed and more than 300 injured.
The Mumbai attacks have shocked Indo-Canadian communities across the country.
Hundreds of people gathered at a Toronto-area Hindu temple last night to watch for updates about the attacks and pray.
"As a Hindu, it hurts, my heart bleeds," Amar Erry, president of the Vedic Cultural Centre in Markham, Ont., told CTV Toronto.
For some, emotions of pain were mixed with feelings of anger.
"It's really disgusting to know what's going, and it's a really cowardly act on innocent people," said Toronto business owner Kishore Chattlani.
"Everybody is concerned and everyone is quite angry and disgusted about this."
Canada's foreign affairs minister called the attacks "cowardly" and "savage."
"Canada strongly condemns the savage terrorist attacks in Mumbai, which have left hundreds of innocent civilians injured or killed," Lawrence Cannon said in a press release.
"These cowardly attacks are truly appalling."
Anyone concerned about relatives who may be in Mumbai may call the Foreign Affairs hotline at 1-613-996-8885. The hotline number outside Canada is 1-800-387-3124.