Kochi: In a latest twist in the Indian fishermen killing case, the Italian vessel crew has refused to be questioned by the Kerala police, reports said on Saturday.
The Enrica Lexie crew are refusing to budge from their stand and repeatedly saying that they are ready to be probed, but only after Italian diplomats arrive here and advise them to do so.
This comes after repeated assurance from the police officials that the crew will not be arrested and only questioned.
Two fishermen, Ajesh Binki, 25, from Tamil Nadu and Gelastine, 45, from Kerala, were mistaken for pirates and shot dead by the crew of an Italian ship on Wednesday evening, about 14 nautical miles off Alappuzha.
Some reports suggest that the Kerala police have written to the Ministry of External Affairs seeking permission to use force against the crew who have refused to be questioned. However, the police have yet to get any reply from the Centre.
Italy offered on Friday to send diplomats to India to help resolve the crisis, as prosecutors opened an enquiry into the incident.
The Indian ambassador to Rome held talks at the Italian Foreign Ministry to calm the row.
Italy expressed its "willingness to send a diplomatic mission from the foreign, defence and justice ministries to India to delve into all aspects of the case together," the Foreign Ministry in Rome said in a statement.