KERALA, INDIA (Diya TV) – A series of explosions rocked a Jehovah’s Witnesses gathering in Kerala, India, near Kochi, leaving three dead and over 50 injured. The incident unfolded during a prayer session in Kalamassery, a town about 10 kilometers northeast of Kochi, where more than 2,000 attendees had gathered for a three-day event.

Preliminary investigations suggest that improvised explosive devices (IEDs) concealed in a tiffin box may have caused the blasts, as confirmed by senior police officials. A man named Dominic Martin posted a now-deleted Facebook video claiming responsibility for the attacks and subsequently surrendered to the authorities. Martin cited grievances against the religious group’s teachings as his motivation, though doubts have emerged regarding his affiliation with the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Kerala’s Health Minister, Veena George, reported 17 victims admitted to hospitals, with 12 in intensive care, including four in critical condition with burns exceeding 50-60%. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan launched a comprehensive investigation, with a special team of 20 members. As a precautionary measure, security has been heightened in major cities in response to this tragic incident.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses, known for their door-to-door evangelism and different approach to Christianity, claim around 60,000 followers in India. In a landmark 1986 ruling, India’s Supreme Court granted the group’s children the right to abstain from singing the national anthem in schools due to religious objections.