KOCHI: A Kochi native surrendered himself at Kodakara police station in Thrissur on Sunday claiming responsibility for the blasts that killed two women and injured several others at a convention centre in Kalamassery where thousands of members of Jehovah’s Witnesses had gathered for a prayer meeting. The man identified as Dominic Martin of Thammanam released a video on social media before surrendering before the police, explaining why he decided to target the Christian sect.
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The police were yet to make a formal statement confirming Martin’s arrest, but official sources said there is enough evidence in his mobile phone regarding his involvement.
ADGP (law and order) MR Ajith Kumar said Martin came to the police station and claimed that he was behind the blasts. “He has given some evidence to support his claim. We are verifying it,” he said.
“He has links with Jehovah’s Witnesses. He has been harbouring some grudge against them, and he has gone to the venue where the blasts occurred. However, we need to find evidence to support the chain of events as described by him and to rule out every other possibility before recording his arrest,” said a senior police officer.
Police raided the house in Thammanam where Martin was living on rent and questioned his wife. It is learnt that he left home early in the morning on Sunday around 5.30am.
“I have been with the Jehovah’s Wit-nesses for over 16 years. About six years ago, I started realizing that the organization was going up a wrong path, and that its teachings were against the nation. I urged them to mend their ways, but they didn’t do so,” he said in the video posted on Sunday noon.
He said the sect was against its members casting their votes or joining military service and all these were wrong. “They are teaching that everyone would perish except them. That means that they are wishing for the destruction of 850 crore people, what should we do about such people? I felt the need to react against these kinds of beliefs. I realized this sect is a danger to the country,” he said.
Police suspect Martin arrived at theconvention centre on a two-wheeler and triggered the explosion using a remote.
Though Martin said he learnt about making improvised explosive devices (IED) from the internet, police were still investigating whether he committed the crime alone or with the help of accomplices.
Police have received information that he had sourced materials required for making an IED locally. They said it was of low intensity, and most injuries were caused by burns due to the fire it caused.
Kalamassery police have registered an FIR against Martin under IPC sections 302, 307 for murder and attempted murder, the explosives Act and Section 16 (1) (a) of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.Soon after the blast, central agencies including the NIA, NSG, IB, and the anti-terrorism squad of the Kerala police had rushed to the spot for investigation suspecting the involvement of extremist elements.

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