Unfair games by Centre, state in marines' case: CPI-M
Thiruvananthapuram: CPI-M in Kerala on Tuesday alleged that the central and state governments had played "unfair games" to save the Italian marines who allegedly shot and killed two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast in February last year.
The Centre and the state had hoodwinked the people to ensure a "smooth passage" to the marines to their homes, sacrificing the pride of our country inorder to please the Italian government, CPI-M state secretariat said in a statement here.
"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chief Minister Oommen Chandy are now acting like they are innocent. Right from the beginning, the Centre and state were not earnest in the efforts to get the marines punished here," it said.
It said the marines had flouted international law by shooting at the fishermen in the boat without any provocation and it was an unpardonable offence and a case of murder.
The CPI-M asked the Centre to take immediate steps to bring the marines to face trial in India. It also wanted diplomatic action to be initiated against Italian Ambassador who gave an affidavit in the Supreme Court on the return of marines.
Opposition Leader VS Achuthanandan also said the Centre's "ambivalent" stand on the marines' case had led to the present situation. "There are ministers who tremble when they hear the word Italy," he said at a press meet here.
Meanwhile, fishermen belonging to the Kerala Independent Fish Workers Federation took out a demonstration before the Secretariat here and burnt effigies of the Prime Minister and the marines to protest Italy's decision not to send back the marines accused of killing two fishermen.
Federation president T Peter said the Centre, which had no regard for the lives of fishermen, had surrendered before the Italian government.