KALAMASSERY: At least one person has been killed and two others critically wounded at an “incident” in southern India, Kerala’s state minister said today, with local media reporting a “blast” at a Jehovah’s Witnesses hall.
The cause of the blast in Kalamassery near the port city of Kochi in Kerala remains unknown.
“One person has been killed, and two other people are critical, others are in the hospital,” Pinarayi Vijayan, chief minister of the southern state of Kerala told reporters. “Further details are being ascertained.”
The Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency reported at least three “blasts” at a convention centre in Kalamassery during a prayer meeting this morning. It gave no further details on the cause.
Local assistant police commissioner PV Baby, speaking to AFP, said one woman had been killed, while five others had suffered significant burns from flames during three-day prayer meetings attended by some 2,500 people.
Around 2% of India’s 1.4 billion people are Christian, according to the last census.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are members of a US-based Christian evangelical movement, who are best known for knocking on doors around the world, bible in hand, trying to convert people to their beliefs.
The movement, which preaches non-violence and is politically neutral, has a long history of being persecuted.
It is a millennial faith, meaning its members believe that the end of the world is near and that God’s kingdom will soon rule over the earth.