Sufi Masood, Seema Banu’s cousin, told RTÉ News that the family last spoke to Seema last Thursday.
Her cousin spoke to RTÉ News from her home in the Mysore region of southern India and translated Qurishid-un-nisa on behalf of Seema’s father, Abdul Ghaffar, and her mother. She also said the family could not believe it was real when they were told that three members of their family had been found dead.
They said it felt like they were in a dream zone or it might have been a joke and they didn’t think it happened until they saw it on the news.
The family described Seema Banu as the pillar and heart of their family, and they described their children Asfira and Faizan as lovable children and proud students who shared the work they had done at school with their family in India.
Sufi Masood described how Seema’s parents have not slept or eaten since the news and how her mother cries every time she sees things that remind her of Seema and the children.
He said Seema, one of eight children, made most of the decisions for the family and was very concerned about everyone. During the last video call they had with her last week, she took the time to speak to several family members.
Describing the small, remote village in Mysore, southern India, where they come from, they said Seema is the only person in their extended family, which consists of around 100 households, who has moved abroad. They said they missed her and the children very much.
They said Seema and the children moved to Ireland for their husband’s job in February this year after living in Dubai for some time.
The family has appealed to the Irish government and the Indian Embassy in Ireland to help bring the bodies of Seema and her two children back so that they can have one last “look” at them.
They said they were told it could cost 18,000 euros to bring the bodies back to India and he said the family could not afford the cost and felt helpless.
“We would be grateful for our lives if you could send our loved ones back to our family so that we can see them one last time and do the final procedure ourselves. That would be really helpful. ”
He said they were grateful for the support the Irish people have shown and that the candlelight vigil held in their memory by neighbors showed them the goodness of the people.
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