Police said that they have filed a case against Union Minister of State Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Tuesday, accusing him of making statements that could create conflict between different groups.
The Kerala police initiated the FIR in response to the minister’s recent statements on social media, which related to the Kochi blasts and a virtual address by a Hamas leader at an event organized by an Islamist group in Malappuram district of the state.
A senior officer from the Kochi city police stated that they have registered an FIR against the minister under sections 153A of the IPC (promoting enmity between different groups based on religion, race, place of birth, residence) and section 120 (o) of the Kerala Police Act (causing nuisance and violating public order).
This action was taken following reports of bomb blasts at a religious gathering of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Kalamassery. Subsequently, Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar posted criticisms of Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan on the social media platform X.
The statement made by Minister Chandrasekhar criticized Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan for alleged appeasement politics and expressed concerns about the influence of the terrorist organization Hamas in the state. This led to a heated exchange between the two, with both using strong language to address each other. The CM emphasized that anyone, whether at the central or state level, making statements that violate the law would face legal consequences.
The blasts occurred at a convention center in Kalamassery, near Kochi, where a prayer meeting of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, a Christian religious group originating in the US in the 19th century, was being held on Sunday.
Shortly after the incident, a man named Martin, who claimed to be an estranged member of Jehovah’s Witnesses, surrendered to the police in Thrissur district, admitting responsibility for the multiple blasts.
Initially, one woman lost her life, and 60 individuals sustained injuries, with six of them in critical condition due to the explosions. Sadly, one of the critically injured, a 53-year-old woman, later succumbed to her injuries.
Tragically, by Monday morning, the death toll increased to three, including the death of a 12-year-old girl who had sustained 95% burns in the incident.