Italians think India is a banana republic: BJP



Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Tearing into the UPA government after the Italian government refused to send back two Italian marines guilty of killing two fishermen off the Kerala coast back to India, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday said that the government must ensure that marines return to face trial in India.

“It’s a betrayal, a bluff by the Italian government. It is a bluff against the Supreme Court of India,” BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.

The BJP spokesperson slammed the government and questioned the decision to facilitate the return of the marines despite apprehension from many sides.

“Italians think India is a banana republic. This is big question which the government of India will have to answer,” he said, adding that the marines should be brought back and made to face justice in India.

"Italy has always argued that Indian authorities have violated their obligations under international law...especially the principle of immunity from trial by the organs of a foreign state and the United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea," the Italian foreign ministry said in a statement.

The decision not to send Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, who had been allowed to come home to vote and meet their families, back to India was taken by Italy's defence and justice ministries in consultation with the prime minister's office, it said.

Here in Delhi, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid has adopted a cautious stand and said that he will comment on the issue after reading the letter sent by the Italian government.