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
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
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.