Kerala concerned over attacks on Indians in Italy
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Last Updated: Monday, March 12, 2012, 15:38
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala today conveyed its concern and displeasure to Italy over the reported attack on Indians in that nation following the arrest and remand of two Italian marines in connection with the killing of two Indian fishermen off the state's coast on February 15.

This was conveyed to Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Steefan de Mistura when he met Chief Minister Oommen Chandy at the secretariat here today.

Emerging from the meeting, Mistura said he had requested the government to shift the marines, lodged in central prison here, to another place as they have not been convicted in the case.

Chandy told a press conference later that government was concerned over reports of attacks on hotels and restaurants owned by Indians in Italy and protests against them. "I conveyed this to the Deputy Foreign Minister and also voiced the government's strong resentment over the attack," he said.

He said Mitura had told him Italy was home to 60 million people and only 100 people had resorted to this form of protest, which should not be seen as the country's reaction.

Chandy maintained that the government has not done anything unlawful in the case and said court orders would be followed on the issue.

On the demand to transfer the marines, Chandy said many factors have to be considered. "There are certain conventions to be followed as they are foreigners and attached to the military of another country. The Geneva Convention has also laid down certain procedures while dealing with such cases."

A lower court at Kollam, which remanded them to 14 days judicial custody on Mar 5, had asked ADGP (Prisons) to consider the possibility of shifting them after consulting all concerned.

Chandy said that government was yet to receive any letter from the ADGP (Prison) on the matter and it would take a decision as and when such a letter was received by it.

The marines Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone have been charged with murder. A Special Investigation team led by Kochi commissioner M R Ajith Kumar is probing the case.

The two fishermen were killed when they were allegedly fired upon by the marines onboard Enrica Lexie on February 15.

Italy contends that the marines fired at the boat suspecting it to be that of pirates.


First Published: Monday, March 12, 2012, 15:38

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