One killed, 52 injured in bomb blasts at Christian meeting in Kerala

ERNAKULAM | Updated: 29 October, 2023 12:34 pm IST
1 killed and several people injured in coordinated blasts in Kerela

ERNAKULAM: In a tragic turn of events, Kerala bore witness to a series of blasts on Sunday at a Jehovah’s Witness congregation in Kalamassery has resulted in the death of a woman while another 52 have been reported to have been injured. 

Four coordinated blasts were reported along the Yahova Convention Centre, a meeting where Kerala’s Christians usually meet to engage in religious prayers and discourse. For the past couple of days, the group had been engaged in a condolence prayer meeting in support of Israel, who are engaged in a conflict with Palestinians along the Gaza Strip. 

The witnesses at the prayer meet said that the first blast had occurred right at the moment when the prayers had first started. They added that subsequently, they had heard two more blasts along the premises. 


These blasts have happened in the wake of a pro-Palestine march in Kerala’s Malappuram where it saw  the participation of former Hamas chief, Khaled Meshaal, address the participating demonstrators. The meeting had been organised by the Jamaat-e-Islami-Hind. 

 

Kerala’s chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan termed the blasts as “unfortunate”, consequently after the blasts quaked across the city, stating that the situation is being viewed seriously. Presently, Rapid Response teams from the National Security Guards and Anti-Terrorism Squads of the Kerala Police have also been deployed at the site. 

Kerala Health Minister, Veena George, has directed all healthcare workers to report for duty in the wake of the blast.

All the 52 injured have been admitted to a district hospital in Ernakulam.

 

Visuals of the Christian prayer hall just moments after the blasts occurred
Visuals from the hospital where the injured are currently undergoing treatment
Visuals from the hopital where the injured receive treatment

The cause of the blast is not known yet, thus it will now be probed by the National Investigation Agency. The agency’s forensic team has already reached the spot and is collecting evidence. 

Earlier in 2005, a Tamil Nadu registration bus was burnt by members of the People’s Democratic Party demanding the release of party chairman Abdul Nasser Mahdani’s release, who was an undertrial in the Coimbatore bomb blasts. Coincidentally, Kalamassery is an important stronghold of the now banned Popular Front of India.

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