Reacting to Rome’s refusal to return two of its marines involved in the killing of two Indian fishermen, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Tuesday termed it as “unacceptable” and said he would raise the issue with the External Affairs Ministry
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Tuesday termed as unacceptable Italy’s decision not to send its two marines to India, who were being tried for killing two fishermen. He said he will take up the issue with the External Affairs Ministry.
The Supreme Court in February allowed Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, accused of killing two Indian fishermen to return to Italy to vote in the Feb 24-25 national elections. It had earlier allowed them to go home for Christmas.
“I am reaching Delhi (Tuesday) night and I will take this issue up with the external affairs ministry. We are also looking to take up this issue legally,” Mr. Chandy said after Italy announced that the marines will not be returning to India.
The Italian government claimed that New Delhi “does not have jurisdiction over the case”.
Mr. Chandy said: “You should see the earnestness in how Kerala pursued this case in the… courts and also in the apex court in the country. Our stand remains the same that they should stand trial here according to the Indian law.”
In no way would this would be acceptable to Kerala, he said.
The Supreme Court had ruled that the case need not be tried in Kerala, instead a special court be set up in Delhi.
The two marines have been at the centre of a year-long international row for allegedly shooting dead two Indian fishermen Ajesh Binki and Gelastine after mistaking them for pirates near the Kerala coast in February 2012.
Italy claims the incident occurred in international waters and has been trying to get Latorre and Girone tried in Italian courts, while India contends the shooting occurred in its own territory.