Kerala bomb blasts accused Martin sent to 30-day judicial custody | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Kerala bomb blasts accused Martin sent to 30-day judicial custody

By, Kochi
Nov 01, 2023 07:18 AM IST

Martin told the court that he did not require the services of a lawyer and that he could argue for himself.

Dominic Martin, the sole accused in the IED blasts that rocked a gathering of Christian sect Jehovah’s Witnesses in Kochi on October 29, was remanded to judicial custody for 30 days by a court in Ernakulam on Tuesday, police officers familiar with the matter said.

The blasts took place at a convention centre in Kalamassery, in Ernakulam district of Kerala, on October 29. (PTI)
The blasts took place at a convention centre in Kalamassery, in Ernakulam district of Kerala, on October 29. (PTI)

“The accused was produced before the District and Sessions Court in Ernakulam which remanded him to judicial custody for 30 days. He will be taken to the district jail in Kakkanad,” an investigating officer, seeking anonymity, confirmed to HT.

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Interestingly, Martin told the court that he did not require the services of a lawyer and that he could argue for himself, the officer said. The court accepted his plea and noted the seriousness of the charges against him. It also permitted the police to conduct a test identification parade with the accused in the subsequent days. The police are expected to file a plea asking for his custody after the parade’s completion, he added.

Martin, a 57-year-old former English tutor and Gulf returnee, was produced in court after a marathon seven-hour round of evidence collection by the special investigation team (SIT) of the state police chiefly done at the house owned by him in Athani. Martin was brought to the Athani house, where his apartments have been rented out, on Tuesday morning at around 9:30 am under a heavy posse of police security. He was led into the building where he spent the next several hours explaining to the police how he stored and built the IED bombs that eventually exploded at the Christian convention on October 29, the police said

The police reportedly recovered incriminating materials from the house in Athani including batteries, electric wires and bottles in which petrol was stored. Even though the apartments he owned were rented out, Martin had a room in the house which he used from time to time. On the day of the explosions, he is believed to have come to the Athani house, from his rented home in Thammanam, where he picked up the materials before heading to the private convention centre in Kalamassery.

Martin, a native of Elamkulam in Kochi, was formally arrested and booked under sections of IPC, UA(P) Act and Explosive Substances Act on Monday after several rounds of questioning by the state police and central agencies. He himself had submitted several crucial pieces of evidence linking his involvement with the crime to the police after surrendering at the Kodakara police station on Sunday. In a video posted on social media, Martin had taken ownership of the blasts at the Jehovah’s Witnesses convention by claiming that he had ‘reacted’ against the sect, of which he was once a member, because it’s teachings and ideals were ‘anti-national and seditious’.

The blasts claimed three lives, including a 12-year-old girl, and injured more than 50 people. Of the injured, three are currently in a critical condition, said health officials.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Vishnu Varma is Assistant Editor and reports from Kerala for the Hindustan Times. He has 10 years of experience writing for print and digital platforms and has worked at The New York Times, NDTV and The Indian Express in the past. He specialises in longform reportage at the intersections of politics, crime, social commentary and environment.

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