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On Monday morning, the death toll rose to three with the death of a 12-year-old girl who had suffered 95 per cent burns in the incident. Currently, 21 persons are under treatment for injuries suffered in the blasts and of them, 16 are being treated in the Intensive Care Unit, a state health department bulletin said. Of the 16, three are in severely critical condition, it said.

Soon after the blasts, Martin, who claimed to be a member of Jehovah’s Witnesses, had surrendered before police in Kerala’s Thrissur district, taking responsibility for the multiple blasts. He had posted his statement on Facebook, too.

Martin told police that he had used 50 small firecrackers, known locally as ‘gundu’, eight litres of petrol and that he set fire to the firecrackers by operating the IED. In his statement to the police, Martin said he had placed the explosives inside plastic bags in the hall.

Though Martin has confessed to the crime and presented all evidence, the investigation teams are yet to conclude that he is the only suspect. Several central agencies are investigating as to why he used an IED (improvised explosive device), as that is a technique commonly used by terrorists.

The agencies are checking Martin’s association with individuals affiliated with such organisations while he was abroad. His mobile phone, including his social media accounts, is being subjected to detailed examination. His relatives and friends are also under surveillance. The chief minister had clarified unless these aspects were thoroughly investigated, the case would not be closed.

An eight-member NSG team inspected the hall where the blast occurred and two specially trained dogs were also brought in during the procedure. Those who attended the convention were permitted to take back their vehicles, which were impounded at the site, only after the central agencies combed the area.

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