Lazy eyes listen
Police in India’s southern state of Kerala have launched a high-level investigation into a series of blasts at a Jehovah’s Witness gathering on Sunday that killed three people and injured at least 50 others.
The incident occurred during a prayer session organised by the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Kalamassery, which was attended by over 2,000 people. Shortly after the incident, a man named Dominic Martin took responsibility for the attack in a video posted on Facebook.
Martin stated in the now-deleted confession video that the organisation was “on the wrong track” when he planted the bomb. He claimed to have been a member of the religious organisation for 16 years but “was not a member of it.”
“When an entire congregation is taught using abusive language that the society is going to be destroyed, that we should not mingle with others or share food with others, I figured that the organization was wrong and its teachings were dangerous to the country,” he said.
Martin claimed that the Jehovah’s Witnesses taught their children not to sing the national anthem, vote, join the military, or accept government jobs when they grew up. “I have tried multiple times to rectify this,” the man said in the video. “But none of them were ready to change.” He later turned himself in to police.
“He is in our custody, but we have not recorded his arrest so far,” the Kerala police public relations officer was quoted as saying by Reuters on Monday. “We are still trying to ascertain the veracity of his statement, it will take some time.”
A regional Jehovah’s Witnesses spokesperson told Reuters that he had no idea if Martin was even present at the event, casting further doubt on his presence.
Martin’s landlord told India Today that the Covid-19 pandemic had cost him his job as an English teacher. He then went to Dubai before returning to India two months ago. Martin was described as a “silent person” who didn’t interact much with his neighbours.
According to media reports, two of the blast victims died on Sunday, while a 12-year-old girl with severe burns died on Monday morning. The explosions are thought to have been caused by an improvised explosive device placed inside a tiffin box, according to local police. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced the formation of a 20-person police investigation team to look into the incident. Meanwhile, a National Security Guard team has been dispatched from New York.