Kerala voices concern over developments in marines' case
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will convey the state government's "serious" concern over Italy's decision not to send back to India the two marines charged with shooting dead two fishermen off Kerala coast in February last.
According to the Chief Minister's office, Chandy would write to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressing the state's disappointment over the new twist in the case.
Chandy, who is scheduled to leave for Delhi today, would also try to meet Singh and other central leaders to convey the state's resentment, sources said.
Opposition parties including CPI-M and BJP blamed the Centre and the state government for the development, saying it amounted to denial of justice to the victims' families.
CPI-M Politburo member and former state Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan alleged that some foul play from behind the curtains by the state and central governments sabotaged the case.
BJP leader PS Sreedharan Pillai said the Centre should take a strong stand on the issue to protect the country's sovereignty.
Dora, wife of Jelastine, one of the two fishermen killed when the marines opened fire from the ship Enrica Lexie, said there was a "conspiracy" to save the accused which should be exposed.
The Italian government had last night said the marines, Massimiliano Lattore and Salvatore Girone, will not return to India.
The Italian Foreign Ministry accused Indian authorities of violating International rights by detaining the marines and said it was "open" to let an international arbitrator to assess the case, according to an official statement.
The marines were permitted by the Supreme Court to go to Italy for four weeks for voting in last month's election. Earlier they were allowed to go home for Christmas holidays after which they returned to India on expiry of their leave.
On January 18, the apex court had turned down the Italian government's plea that the Indian courts had no jurisdiction in the case and had held that the two marines should be tried by the Centre by constituting a special court to conduct their trial.