Expressing shock over the twin explosions that took place at a convention centre in Kerala, leaving one dead and several injured, Congress leader Sashi Tharoor on Sunday condemned the incident and demanded swift police action in the matter.
The Thiruvananthapuram MP said to see his state falling prey to the “mentality of killing and destruction was tragic”.
“Shocked and dismayed by the news of a bomb attack on a religious gathering in Kerala. I condemn it unreservedly & demand swift police action. But that’s not enough. To see my state falling prey to the mentality of killing and destruction is tragic. I urge all religious leaders to unite in condemning such barbarism & teaching their followers that violence achieves nothing but more violence,” Tharoor, the Thiruvananthapuram MP, posted from his official handle on X.
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the wake of the blasts.
The Union Home Minister also instructed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the National Security Guard (NSG) to reach on the spot and start an inquiry into the incident.
One person was killed and several critically wounded in the explosions that took place at a prayer meeting of Jehovah’s Witness believers at Zamra International Convention and Exhibition Centre in Kalamassery area in Ernakulam district.
The Home Minister later issued a direction to the chiefs of both the NIA and the NSG — the two Central agencies specialised in anti-terror investigation and operations respectively — to send their specialised teams on the spot to start an inquiry.
Earlier, the Kerala Chief Minister termed the explosion an unfortunate incident saying that the state government was taking it very seriously.
“It’s a very unfortunate incident. We are collecting details regarding the incident. All top officials are there in Ernakulam. DGP is moving to the spot. We are taking it very seriously. I have spoken to the DGP. We need to get more details after the investigation,” Vijayan said.
Kerala’s Leader of Opposition and the Congress’s state president, VD Satheesan, meanwhile, said he was told that there were two blasts and there was a fire. “Intially, there was a major blast. It was followed by a second blast, which was minor. A woman died and another 25 persons, who were injured in the incident, are currently under treatment at the hospital. Six of the 25 injured persons are currently in the ICU. Around 2,000 people were present at the prayer hall when the explosive devices went off,” he said.
Those injured in the twin blasts were admitted to Government Medical College Hospital in Kalamassery, as well as in private hospitals.
The explosions were reported a little after 9.30 am at the venue where a regional meeting of the believers was underway.