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UAPA invoked against suspect in Kerala blasts case

Source: PTI
Last updated on: October 30, 2023 23:34 IST
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The police on Monday formally recorded the arrest of the man who claimed responsibility for the bomb blasts at a Christian religious gathering in Kerala on Sunday that killed three persons and injured over 50 people.

IMAGE: Laxman Prabhu, kin of one of the injured in the Kerala blasts of Sunday, speaks to the media. Photograph: ANI on X

A senior police officer said the arrest of the man, Dominic Martin, was recorded at 7 pm.

Besides Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) (punishment for murder) and Section 3 of the Explosive Substances Act, relevant sections of the UAPA have also been invoked against the accused, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) official told reporters in Kochi.


"The accused was questioned in detail. Apart from that, other evidence was also collected by the investigation team. Based on that, the team has reasonable grounds to believe that the person has committed the crime," the officer said.

“Whether there was any assistance rendered by anybody or if there were any other person involved, all these will be subjected to a detailed investigation," he said.

The police said the accused will be produced before the court on Tuesday. 

The blasts were set off at a convention centre in Kalamassery near Kochi where a prayer meeting of the Jehovah's Witnesses -- a Christian religious group that originated in the US in the 19th century -- was held on Sunday.

A few hours after that, Martin, who claimed to be an estranged member of Jehovah's Witnesses, surrendered before police in Thrissur district of the state, saying that he carried out the multiple blasts.

Before he surrendered, he posted a video on social media stating his reasons for carrying out the blasts.

By Sunday evening, a 21-member special investigation team (SIT) of the Kerala police, headed by ADGP Ajith Kumar, was set up to probe the case.

Initially, one woman had died and 60 were injured, six of them critically, in the blasts. Subsequently, one of the six critically wounded -- a 53-year-old woman -- succumbed to her injuries. By Monday morning, the death toll rose to three with the death of a 12-year-old girl who had suffered 95 per cent burns in the incident.

Currently, 21 persons are under treatment for injuries suffered in the blasts and of them 16 are in the ICU, a state Health Department bulletin said.

Of the 16, three are in severely critical condition, it said.

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