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Kerala blasts: Accused Dominic Martin sent to 10 days police custody
The investigating team is probing his income sources, technical resources used in the crime, and potential international links due to his expatriate status
Dominic Martin, the sole accused in the Kalamassery blasts, has been sent to 10 days police custody by the Ernakulam Principal Sessions Court on Monday. He will be in police custody till 15 November. Martin again refused the assistance of a court-appointed lawyer in the case.
The multiple blasts killed four and injured over 50 occurred at a convention centre in Kalamassery during a prayer meeting of Jehovah's Witnesses on 29 October.
Also Read: Kerala blasts: Death toll rises to four
The investigating team informed the court that they were looking into sources of Dominic's income and technical resources for executing the crime. They would probe his international links too as he was an expatriate. The police informed the court that the accused would have to be taken for evidence collection to the blast site as well as the shops from where he purchased materials for making the bombs.
During the hearing, Martin again refused the court’s offer of seeking assistance of a lawyer in the case. The court told him that he could seek legal aid at any point if he wished to. During the earlier hearing too, on 31 October, Martin had refused the assistance of a legal aid lawyer and was sent to judicial custody until 29 November by Sessions Court judge Honey M Varghese.
Martin refused a lawyer though the court offered one on several occasions; saying he would represent himself instead. Last week, the police took Martin to his house in Athani to collect evidence. A police officer said the accused had worked abroad for 17 years and was an "extremely intelligent person". He will now be shifted to Kakkanad district jail. On Monday, the police formally recorded the arrest of Martin, who had surrendered a few hours after the blasts on Sunday morning.
Soon after the blasts, Martin, who claimed to be a member of Jehovah’s Witnesses, had surrendered before police in Kerala’s Thrissur district, taking responsibility for the multiple blasts. He had posted his statement on Facebook, too.
Martin told police that he had used 50 small firecrackers, known locally as ‘gundu’, eight litres of petrol and that he set fire to the firecrackers by operating the IED. In his statement to the police, Martin said he had placed the explosives inside plastic bags in the hall.
On 31 October, Martin was remanded to judicial custody. In addition to Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) (Punishment for murder) and Section 3 of the Explosive Substances Act, relevant sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) have also been invoked against the accused.