Indian fishing community opposes Italian marines plea to go home for Christmas
Fishermen in the seaport town of southern Kollam in Kerala have registered strong opposition to the Italian mariners plea to temporarily return to Italy for Christmas.
It is to be noted that Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone accused of killing two fishermen are out on bail.
The sailors, members of a military security team protecting the cargo ship Enrica Lexie from pirate attacks, fired on a fishing boat they mistook for a pirate craft off Kerala in February, killing two.
"They killed two of our brothers. The culprits shouldn't be allowed to go. The Italian marines should not be sent temporarily for Christmas celebrations. They should wait for the court's final verdict to come," said a local fisherman, Dason on Monday.
Italy has challenged in the Supreme Court, India's right to try the sailors, saying the shooting took place in international waters, outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.
Indian authorities accused the sailors of killing unarmed fishermen in a "contiguous zone" where Indian law applies.
Earlier, Italy summoned the Indian ambassador to urge India's Supreme Court to reach a decision before the year-end Christmas holiday.
According to media reports, the Kerala court will consider their petition on Tuesday, the petition of the sailors seeking permission to go home.
The Italian government has given an undertaking the marines would be in its custody during their stay and would take responsibility for their return to India.