Dominic Martin, who has claimed to be behind the Kalamassery blasts, apparently told his wife Saturday night that he was going to meet a friend Sunday morning and left their rented house at Thammanam in Kochi around 5 am.
“He gets up early every morning, his wife told me. Today also, he got up early and went out on his two-wheeler. His wife thought he was going to meet his friend as he had told her the previous night,” said Sakkir Thammanam, the local councillor who is one of the very few people in the locality who can claim to know Martin, said to be aged 57.
Hours after the blasts at a convention centre that left two dead, as of now, and several injured, Martin, an estranged member of Jehovah’s Witnesses, posted a video on social media taking responsibility for the act.
Martin and his family – wife, son and daughter – have been staying at a 2-bedroom house at Khader Lane for rent for the last five years. Their landlord, Jaleel, was shell-shocked.
“He was not a troublemaker. He did not have many friends but no enemies either. He might have started drinking of late as per our our conversations with his wife. Also, he never defaulted on rent payment. There was nothing suspicious about his activities,” said Jaleel.
“I had been following the news of the blasts from the morning and suddenly in the afternoon, his wife came down and told me about his video in which he took ownership of the crime. She was apologetic that because of him, there would be so much issues for us and all the people in the locality,” added Jaleel.
Martin, who hails from Elamkulam in Kochi, studied only till Class 10, as per Sakkir’s knowledge. Dominic left Jehovah’s Witnesses five or six years ago and returned to the group about two months ago. “He was running a spoken English tutorial in Thammanam a few years ago. When that started to taper off, he went to the Gulf more than two years ago. He came back just a couple of months ago and was planning to start some shop if I reckon right,” said Sakkir, adding that Martin is the youngest of seven siblings.
Since the news of his confession and arrest broke out, his wife and daughter have been shattered. “They have not eaten anything. We have been constantly keeping in touch with them and trying to give them all the support. It’s nothing of their fault that he did this act,” said Jaleel.
Elamkulam is his hometown. He came back from Gulf after his daughter contracted dengue. He never had any issues wtith anyone.