Mission reported receiving hate mails

India has asked Italy to step up security for its embassy in Rome after it received a live bullet and a deluge of hate mails. Rallies are also being held in major cities, demanding the closure of the Indian mission.

The protests are seen as retaliation for New Delhi’s inability to decide the fate of the Italian marines in custody for about two years now on charge of killing two fishermen off the Kerala coast.

“We have sensitised our friends in Italy and hope that necessary measures will be taken to ensure safety and security,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told journalists.

The detention without trial of the Italian marines has been ensnared in inter-Ministerial wrangling, but the Supreme Court on Monday expects the Centre to make its stand clear on whether anti-piracy law should be invoked against the marines.

The petition, filed by the Italian Ambassador and the two marines, challenges the invoking of the law and sought either quicker proceedings or a discharge of the marines.

Sensing danger to its diplomatic premises and staff in Rome, the MEA has undertaken a security review to improve security. “But as you are aware it is the responsibility of the host country to ensure security under the Vienna Convention,” Mr. Akbaruddin added.

The slow pace of the trial has led to Italy recalling its Ambassador Daniele Mancini for “consultations,” an euphemism for extreme displeasure at the host country.

Meanwhile, the European Union hoped a solution would be found to the issue. “Yes it is a matter of concern to us that two years have passed with no charges and from what we read in the newspapers there is the possibility of applying anti-terrorist and anti-piracy legislation.

“This is extremely worrying for all of us and our expectation is that we will be able to find a resolution,” Ambassador of the EU delegation Joao Cravinho said at a function on Friday.