Rudy on Italian Marines: UPA has made India a banana republic
New Delhi, Mar 12 : Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy on Tuesday said the Italian Government's decision not send back two of its marines to face trial in connection with the murder of two Kerala fishermen, has made both the ruling UPA and India look like a 'banana republic'.
Responding to Rome's decision, Rudy said: "It's a betrayal and a bluff by the Italian Government. It is also a bluff to the highest court of land, which is the Supreme Court, which was generous enough to allow them (the marines) to go back to their land for the Italian elections."
He asked," Why does the Italian Government take India so lightly? Why do they take the Indian Government to be a 'banana republic'? The BJP demands, in the interest of justice, the fugitive sailors should be brought back to India, and should be tried in Indian courts. It is not a question of whether the government was soft or not. The Supreme Court must have given some affidavit and we have to believe it."
Earlier, External Affairs Minister, Salman Khurshid said:" We will read the letter sent by the Italian Government and then decide the future course of action. There's no point in commenting without reading what they have to say."
On Monday, Italy made it clear that it won't send back two marines to India to face trial. The Italian foreign ministry communicated the message to the Indian foreign office.
The February 15 shooting incident, which took place in international waters off the Arabian Sea, is under investigation as it is said to have occurred within the Indian Contiguous Zone in southern India.
The two Italian Marines --Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone-are said to have used live fire from their automatic weapons from on board the oil tanker MV Enrica Lexie to kill Indian fishermen Ajesh Binki and Valentine aka Gelastine, natives of TamilNadu and Kerala respectively.
The incident sparked off a major diplomatic row between Italy and India, with the Kerala Police immediately opening a murder enquiry and later arresting Latorre and Girone.
Italy maintains that the incident occurred in international waters and has been trying to get Latorre and Girone tried in Italian courts.