Kerala blasts: Court sends accused to judicial custody till November 29

A Kerala court on Tuesday sent to judicial custody the man arrested for the bomb blasts at a Christian religious gathering in Kerala that killed three people and injured over 50 people.

Sessions Court judge Honey M Varghese sent accused Dominic Martin to judicial custody till November 29.

Martin refused the assistance of a legal aid lawyer, despite it being offered several times by the court, and said he would represent himself.

Police told the court that it would be filing an application for a Test Identification Parade before the Chief Judicial Magistrate on Wednesday and, thereafter, seek Martin’s custody.

During the day, the accused was taken to his house at Athani here for evidence collection, a police officer told PTI.

The officer also said that the accused worked abroad for 17 years, had a highly paid job and was a very intelligent person.

The accused will be shifted to the Kakkanad district jail near here.

On Monday, police had formally recorded the arrest of Martin who had surrendered a few hours after the blasts on Sunday morning.

Besides Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) (Punishment for murder) and Section 3 of the Explosive Substances Act, relevant sections of UAPA have also been invoked against the accused.

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.

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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 over 50 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 toll rose to three with the death of a 12-year-old girl who had suffered 95 per cent burns in the incident.

Presently, 21 people are receiving treatment in various healthcare facilities, with three of them in critical condition.

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