India police charge man over Jehovah’s Witnesses bomb blast

Philippine Tribune
Philippine Tribune

NEW DELHI, India–Police in India say they have charged a man in connection with a bomb blast at a Jehovah’s Witnesses prayer meeting that killed three people.

Dozens were also injured in Sunday’s explosion at a convention centre where more than 2,000 people had gathered for a three-day meeting.

A. Akbar, the police commissioner in the port city of Kochi, told reporters late Monday that suspect Dominic Martin had been charged with several offences, including under India’s anti-terror laws.

Martin had turned himself in to police after releasing a video message on social media in which he claimed to be a disgruntled former member of the church.

Local media reports said Martin, 48, had learned how to make explosives on the internet.

Broadcaster NDTV said he had spent around 3,000 rupees ($36) to make the bombs.

He returned to India about two months ago from Dubai, the website The News Minute reported.

There are nearly 60,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses in India, according to the church’s website.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are members of a US-based Christian evangelical movement and are perhaps best known for knocking on doors around the world, Bible in hand, trying to convert people to their beliefs.

The movement, which preaches non-violence and is politically neutral, has a history of persecution, with its activities banned or restricted in several countries.

It is a millennial faith, meaning its members believe that the end of the world is near and that God’s kingdom will soon rule over the Earth.

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