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Updated: February 19, 2012 02:44 IST

India wants Italian ship captain to surrender

Sandeep Dikshit
Comment (16)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Kochi Police Commissioner Ajith Kumar (right) and ADGP R. Chandrasekharan come out of a boat on Saturday after visiting Enrica Lexie, the Italian merchant vessel detained at the Kochi harbour for
the killing of two Indian fishermen by its security guards. Photo: Thulasi Kakkat
Kochi Police Commissioner Ajith Kumar (right) and ADGP R. Chandrasekharan come out of a boat on Saturday after visiting Enrica Lexie, the Italian merchant vessel detained at the Kochi harbour for the killing of two Indian fishermen by its security guards. Photo: Thulasi Kakkat

Krishna rejects Rome's plea for joint probe

New Delhi wants the captain of Italian ship Enrica Lexia and two marksmen who shot dead two Indian fishermen to surrender to Kerala Police on Sunday after several rounds of diplomatic confabulations on Saturday culminated in a telephonic conversation between External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna and his Italian counterpart.

Rome wanted the three to be permitted to go in return for a joint investigation into the incident. But in the conversation late in the evening, Mr. Krishna turned down the offer an hour after Kerala Chief Minister Ooomen Chandy sought the Central assistance to persuade the captain and the two security personnel to give themselves up. Mr. Chandy said his government was left with no option but to arrest the Italians after receiving advice on the issue from the State's Attorney- General, said government sources here.

Mr. Krishna and the Indian Ambassador in Rome told the Italians that this was not a diplomatic row that could end with discussions. The question was that those responsible for killing two Indians must submit to the law of the land.

The call from the Italian Foreign Minister capped a hectic day of activity in Rome, where the Indian Ambassador was offered options such as the despatch of a multi-Ministerial team to Kochi and a high-level investigation of the incident.

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A country's sovereignty is not only in its impregnability but also in its capability to establish justice. Justice should be, at all cost, done to the slain fishermen and culprit should be tried as per the law of the land. They should not be allowed to go scot-free. The government should know that the whole population stand by them in delivering justice to the victims.

from:  Hejang Miso
Posted on: Feb 21, 2012 at 10:55 IST

There are few points I need to make in connection with the incident. The fact that the Indian authorities were requesting the Italian nationals involved in the shooting incident to surrender shows us clearly that the Indian authorities are aware that India does not have right to arrest the Italian seafarers involved in the incident which occured on International waters(not Indian territorial waters). We took them into custody after the two marines surrendered.
What our chaps should concentrate on, is to follow up the matter in Italian courts which has the authority to prosecute the Master and the two marines. The investigation should be completed by the police with the assistance of competent persons from the DG shipping and lawyers who have good knowledge of UNCLOS.
Many a criminals have escaped because of the courts throwing out the case carelessly prepared by our law enforcing authorities.

from:  Biju Jayarajan
Posted on: Feb 20, 2012 at 07:53 IST

People should have due process rights anywhere. Legality of the arrest will be judged by the law of the land plus international maritime law. But arresting the suspects does not mean their rights are violated or they are convicted. All countries have the right to execute it's own law. Particularly who want to do business with them they should know it clearly.

from:  Shah
Posted on: Feb 20, 2012 at 03:40 IST

Yes typical Indian response. Negotiate first and act later. The comments are correct
about Indian & Pakistani responses. They took prisoners first and made the other
party negotiate for release. Where did the shooting take place? If it was in Indian
territory, first you grab the suspects. Lets face facts, no one will take India seriously
if India doesn't take herself seriously.

from:  Ankur
Posted on: Feb 20, 2012 at 02:26 IST

Was the ship in Indian waters when the people fired their weapon is being debated however
the person who received the injury was on an Indian boat which even in international waters
too would be treated as Indian territory.
The fact that before the weapon was fired the fact there was a person carrying weapons in
India(ie. within 12nm) did they have the required permit ions under the indian laws arms act
etc. There would be some provision in law under which foreign army/navy/airforces which
come to india for military excises are permitted to posses weapons or for that matter a closer
example would be of sky marshes, but did these personal have any sort of
permit/authorisation for the weapons they carried in India (Indian waters)? Did they declare
to any port/Customs authorities of weapons being on board?
The act of not rendering assistance as soon as the mistake was realised but insted trying to
flee. Such act under international law Captain could be held responsible.

from:  Parag
Posted on: Feb 19, 2012 at 18:45 IST

Even in a collision accident in midsea involving fishing boat and loss
of fishermen lives the captain and the ship is arrested .
The present case is not accidental but a deliberate killing . The fishermen have no weapons,did not approach the vessel for boarding. The Captain and two security guards should be arrested and tried in indian court for murder

from:  kumaravel
Posted on: Feb 19, 2012 at 13:20 IST

Why is the media, the Kerala Chief Minister and our Foreign Minister making a big drama out of a tragic incident? It is not a war between India and Italy. Why not allow the law to take its course?

from:  K. Vijayakumar
Posted on: Feb 19, 2012 at 12:13 IST

Reports indicate that after realizing their mistake that they had fired at a fishing boat, the ship had changed its direction from its declared port of destination to put as much distance between her and the Indian shore. The least that should have been expected is that they should have offered first aid to the injured fishermen. On the contrary the Ship has tried to flee. Why is the Captain not being charged for abetment and destruction of evidence? So far the Captain has not given any statement that the guards had opened fire on their own, which means he was fully aware and possibly had given the instructions to fire. Truth cannot be ascertained by press releases given by the owners of the ship or the Italian embassy, Truth can be found out only when the Captain of the ship is cross examined in the court. The fishing boat was flying an Indian Flag, which means it was a small piece of Indian Territory inside Indian territorial waters.

from:  david
Posted on: Feb 19, 2012 at 12:07 IST

The Italian crew was outside India's territorial waters, so our laws don't apply to them. Nevertheless, cargo ships cannot carry firearms in international waters and for this they can be punished. Somali pirates did come near Lakshadweep once or twice, so the piracy zone will extend right up to Indian territorial waters in their charts. Its a case of misunderstanding, and I am sure diplomatic efforts will prevail over our laws, especially for the captain. No need to make this a national interest issue and blame Chandy govt.

from:  Nitin
Posted on: Feb 19, 2012 at 12:05 IST

Good to see that India's sovereignty is protected by taking a stern
position to bring the foreign ship crew under the law of the land.
Mr.Krishna will have to make sure that the world understands how
serious India this irresponsible behavior by bunch of foreigners.
At the same breath, may I request Mr.Krishna to have similar kind
of stand on fishermen killings by Srilankan navy? This has become a
daily news now-a-days! Time to show to the world that we give the
safety and security of Indian citizens the topmost priority.

from:  Pradeep Krishnan
Posted on: Feb 19, 2012 at 11:39 IST

Already the UPA is shaking in its roots with the elction reverses. A gross failure to exercise its sovereignity by letting of the Italian ship and ‘begging the Italian ship’ to give to us a few of its erring crew would not be approopriate and would only exacerhbate public anger. The ship haas to be detained and the captain arrested. Our ministers have to shake themselves of ‘Italianitis’ and act in the interest of the counry and establish its sovereignity. It cannot anger the coast guard and thenaval forces by making them look like dumb spectators. Will Chandi government act in the interest of the nation or will it act as a representative of the congress party in the state. He should rememebr that public anger runs very high. It is hoped that Kerala will act in national interest, arret the captain of the itlian vessel and detain the ship come what may. It may so happen that its own people may revolt against the state govt. and throw it out of power if it acts weakly.

from:  s subramanyan
Posted on: Feb 19, 2012 at 09:44 IST

The master of the ship and the shooters would be arrested, tried, punished and the relatives would be compensated in millions of US Dollars equivalent, if a similar incident happens in Italy. Indian life is not cheap. This is not a diplomatic matter for discussions. Thank God they have not killed the remaining innocent on board the fishing vessel. Those responsible for killing two Indians must submit to the law of the land and the relatives of the victims must be heavily compensated by the Italian authorities.

from:  N.K.Doraiswamy
Posted on: Feb 19, 2012 at 06:39 IST

I think the Kerala police should give them till end of Sunday to surrender or should the cops to arrest them. If the court want to set a bail amount it should not be less than 2 million dollars per person in cash deposit.
In the end of the day law of the land should prevail, they should be booked for murder of unarmed persons. Apart from the outcome of the case the shipping company should compensate the families minimum of half a million dollars to raise and educate the children so that when they grow up they don't have to be in a situation like this.

from:  Rajan
Posted on: Feb 19, 2012 at 05:21 IST

India really needs to follow the "Israel model" in such cases. No time should have been wasted in raiding the vessel with NSG commandos and detaining all aboard since each crew member is at least an abettor, if not a perpetrator, in the incident. Then negotiate with whoever is necessary. Here, we are actually pleading with criminals to give themselves up. Doesn't behove well for a wannabe superpower and Security Council permanent seat - aspirationist. You need to first show some self-respect long before you can expect anyone else to respect you. Even Pakistan would have acted more aggressively in such a case. One cannot help but recall the case of Raymond Davis, a CIA contractor who killed 2 Pakistani men allegedly in self defense. Pakistan first arrested the man and then commenced negotiations with the Americans. I'm afraid that in the honour and self-respect stakes, Pakistan is definitely several notches higher than our own pathetic selves. Soft, lumbering, shy elephant state!

from:  Vivek Joseph
Posted on: Feb 19, 2012 at 00:53 IST

They should be first put in jail and the law of the land has to take a course to the right/just judgement. If convicted, punished by law. If not, to be released with respect. There is every possibility that Italy can give India some diplomatically nicety or benefit to get them released with tweaked story. West has done like that developing nations widely through their reach to the leaders of nations.

from:  ram iyer
Posted on: Feb 19, 2012 at 00:43 IST

Quite heartening to see such a strong statement from the external affairs minister taking sides of the slain fishermen.

from:  Taha
Posted on: Feb 18, 2012 at 23:58 IST
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