Blasts at Kerala prayer meet: 1 killed, over 30 injured, state DGP confirms use of IED

The event at a convention centre in Kalamassery was attended by ‘at least 2,000’ people.

WrittenBy:NL Team
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Kerala DGP Shaik Darvesh Sahib has confirmed that the blasts this morning in Ernakulam were caused by an improvised explosive device, or IED. 

As reported by DT Next, Sahib said a terror angle can be confirmed “only after inquiry”. He also warned the public against “spreading provocative or hateful messages” on social media, saying the police would take stringent action otherwise.

A “series of blasts” had been reported at 9.30 am inside the Zamra convention centre at Kalamassery. The Hindu reported that “around 2,000 people” were inside the hall for a prayer meeting organised by Jehovah’s Witnesses when three blasts took place.

One woman was killed and over 30 people were injured. 

Eyewitnesses told Mathrubhumi that “people were running for their lives”. One witness said he saw “individuals on fire rolling on the floor”; another said “many people were injured in the stampede as well”. 

Veena George, Kerala’s health minister, directed hospitals in Kalamassery to be on alert. According to district collector NSK Umesh, 10 injured have been admitted to the burns unit of Kalamassery Medical College. Two of them suffered over 50 percent burns and were moved to another hospital. Eight others were admitted to the medical college’s general ward and 18 to various other hospitals, The Hindu reported.

The convention centre has now been sealed.

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan , who is currently in Delhi, conferred with the state DGP soon after and told the media the incident was “unfortunate”. He has called an all-party meeting tomorrow. Kerala governor Arif Mohammed Khan expressed his “heartfelt condolences to the kin of the deceased”

Mathrubhumi also reported that union home minister Amit Shah spoke to Vijayan about the blasts, and will send teams from the National Security Guard and National Investigation Agency to the state.

This is a developing story.

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