Kalamassery blast case: Cops seek prosecution sanction to try accused under UAPA

Probe team is looking to file chargesheet at Ernakulam District Sessions Court next week
People rush to save themselves after a blast at a convention centre in Kalamassery, in Ernakulam district, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023.
People rush to save themselves after a blast at a convention centre in Kalamassery, in Ernakulam district, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023. File-PTI

KOCHI : Ahead of filing the chargesheet against Kalamassery blast case accused Dominic Martin, of Palarivattom, under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), the police

have approached the home department seeking prosecution sanction which is mandatory for trying UAPA accused.

Eight people were dead and several injured in the explosions that took place at a Jehovah’s Witnesses prayer meeting at Kalamasssery on October 29, 2023.

The investigation team is looking to file the chargesheet at the Ernakulam District Sessions Court next week.

According to Sudarsan K S, deputy commissioner, Kochi City Police, a request was sent to the home department seeking prosecution sanction under UAPA in the case last week. “We have sent all documents, including evidence collected as part of the probe under UAPA, to the state government. A committee will examine the evidence against the accused before granting the prosecution sanction. Usually, the sanction is granted within seven working days. Till now the committee has not raised any objections regarding the evidence we have collected in the case,” he said.

According to Sudarsan, once the sanction is obtained, the chargesheet will be filed in the court. “Once the prosecution sanction is granted, we will be able to file the chargesheet in a week. The six-month time period mandated under UAPA to file a chargesheet was completed by the end of this month. We are confident of meeting the deadline,” he said.

Prosecution sanction is mandatory in terrorism cases. In several cases registered under UAPA in the state, the accused were discharged by the court due to issues related to prosecution sanction. Suspected Maoist Roopesh, of Kozhikode, was discharged in six such cases in recent years due to the delay in getting prosecution sanction. Similarly, Thadiyantavide Nazeer, who is accused in multiple terror cases, was also discharged by the court due to similar issues.

In the Kalamassery blast case, police have charged a case against the sole accused Dominic Martin under various sections of the UAPA, IPC and Explosives Act. If the police fail to file the chargesheet within the stipulated period of six months, the accused will be eligible for statutory bail.

Last month, the State Forensic Science Laboratory (SFSL) handed over the forensic reports to the investigation team after analysing samples collected during the probe. He had kept two plastic bags containing ‘gundu’ (high-intensity firecrackers) at two spots inside the convention centre and triggered the blast using a remote control. Martin, an estranged member of Jehovah’s Witnesses, took responsibility for the blast claiming it as part of the vengeance against Jehovah’s Witnesses group.

He told police that the Christian group repeatedly ignored his requests to go for ‘course correction.’ Martin had surrendered to police after posting a video on his social media account claiming responsibility for the bomb attack. Police could not find the involvement of any other persons in the case.

UAPA cases

In several cases registered under UAPA in the state, the accused were discharged by the court due to issues related to prosecution sanction.

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