Kerala Blast: Suspect surrenders as police recovers batteries, CCTV footage

Of the 52 people injured, 18 remain in the intensive care unit (ICU), while 10 are admitted in regular wards

| Updated: 29 October, 2023 6:14 pm IST
A blue car was captured in a CCTV footage at the convention centre

KOCHI: In the ongoing investigation into the recent explosions at a regional conference of a religious group in Kalamassery, Kerala police have made significant strides. They have recovered batteries believed to be linked to the improvised explosive devices (IED) used in the four explosions. Additionally, investigators have gathered crucial CCTV footage from the event’s premises.

CCTV footage from the vicinity of the convention center has revealed the departure of a blue car at 9:32 am, just two minutes after the blasts occurred at 9:30 am. Police sources indicate that the initial blast transpired at the central hall of the centre. Subsequently, within seconds, three more explosions ensued, causing injuries to 52 individuals and claiming the life of one person.

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The sequence of events has raised suspicions of a meticulously planned attack. Notably, the members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses commune had entered the prayer hall at 9:20 am, suggesting the timing of the blasts highly deliberate.

Of the 52 injured, 18 remain in the intensive care unit (ICU), while 10 are admitted in regular wards. Six individuals are in critical condition. National Investigation Agency and the National Security Guard teams are on the spot apart from local forensics, to investigate the case.

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In parallel with these developments, authorities have impounded vehicles used by attendees of the event for further examination. Simultaneously, a man from Kochi has surrendered at the Kodakara police station in Thrissur, claiming responsibility for placing the IED at the Convention Centre. According to ADGP (Law & Order) Ajith Kumar, a man identified as Dominic Martin confessed to planting the explosive device at the convention centre during his surrender. Martin, allegedly, is a member of the evangelical Christian community.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Amit Shah earlier in the day spoke to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, to take stock of the situation and extended full support from the Centre. Vijayan has also convened an All-Party meeting, scheduled for tomorrow at 10 am in the CM’s Conference Hall within the Secretariat at Thiruvananthapuram. He added that the situation is being monitored seriously.

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