Kerala: 2 die, over 50 hurt after multiple blasts rock prayer meet, suspect surrenders
At least two people died and over 50 others were injured after multiple blasts rocked a prayer meeting of Jehovah's Witnesses at Kalamassery region of Kerala on Sunday (October 29, 2023).
Kerala Health Minister Veena George said 56-year-old Kumari hailing from Thodupuzha succumbed to burn injuries at a hospital here this evening.
"Out of 52 injured people who were taken to various hospitals, 30 are still undergoing treatment. 18 seriously injured persons are in ICU. The condition of six, including a child, is very critical," she was quoted as saying by UNI news agency.
At least 1 dead, several injured in blast at Jehovah's Witnesses' meet in Kerala's Ernakulam. pic.twitter.com/M0vJambnkS— India Blooms (@indiablooms) October 29, 2023
Meanwhile, the man, who surrendered before the Kodakara Police station and confessed that he planted the IED (Improvised Explosive Device) at a prayer meeting of Jehovah's Witnesses at Kalamassery, has been identified as Dominic Martin hailing from Thammanam in this City.
Sources told UNI news agency that Dominic Martin also posted a live video on his Facebook account just three hours before his surrendering at the police station.
In the video, he claimed responsibility for the serial blasts and started that he was going to the police station to surrender.
He also said that the media should not show how the explosion was carried out.
After the release of the video, his Facebook page has disappeared.
Dominic said he has been a member of Jehovah's Witnesses for the past several years and has become aware of the spread of wrong ideas in society.
He said he was convinced that the Jehovah's Witnesses was spreading mischief.
Martin says he was taught not to sing the national anthem.
“I believe you are aware of the recent development. A convention held by Jehovah's Witnesses has been bombed. I have been with this movement for 16 years. But, six years ago, I realised that it was a wrong movement and I asked them many times to correct it. But none of them was ready for it," he said in the video as quoted by UNI.
Police said the IED was reportedly placed in tiffin boxes inside the prayer hall.
Kannur police took a man into custody after finding suspicious items in his bag.
The Jharkhand native was reportedly on his way to Areekode from Mangaluru.
However, he was released after interrogation.
Meanwhile, The National Investigation Agency (NIA) will conduct the probe into the Kerala serial blast incident that occurred at a Christian religious prayer gathering of 2,000 people.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan described the explosions as "unfortunate" and said that the incident is a matter of great concern. All high-ranking police officers in the state have rushed to the explosion site.
Following the series of explosions, Home Minister Amit Shah spoke with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan via telephone.
Shah directed the heads of the NIA and NSG, two central agencies with expertise in counterterrorism investigations and operations, to send their specialised teams to the location to initiate an investigation.
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