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Updated: February 28, 2012 18:33 IST

Fishermen killing: India-Italy talks fail

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Giulio Terzi di Sant’ Agata, Italian Foreign Affairs Minister and External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna after delivering a joint statement in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo: V.V.Krishnan
The Hindu Giulio Terzi di Sant’ Agata, Italian Foreign Affairs Minister and External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna after delivering a joint statement in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo: V.V.Krishnan

External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and his Italian counterpart Giulio Terzi di Sant’ Agata discussed the on-going investigations in the case but continued to have differences over jurisdiction and legal aspects of the incident..

India and Italy on Tuesday failed to resolve their difference over the trial of two Italian marines for killing two fishermen despite talks between their foreign ministers here.

Meeting in the backdrop of the “unfortunate” incident, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and his Italian counterpart Giulio Terzi di Sant’ Agata discussed the on-going investigations in the case but continued to have difference of opinion on the jurisdiction and legal aspects of the incident.

Asserting that there was “differences of opinion” between India and his country over the incident, Mr. Terzi categorically said, “I have explained frankly the position of my government on the legal aspect of this issue.... There is a difference of opinion which is not resolved”, while favouring their trial under international laws.

The two ministers also tried to “clear the air” over the February 15 killing which has led to the detention of two Italian marines in Kochi.

“We met in the backdrop of unfortunate incident... There is a very strong public opinion on both sides. Minister Terzi and I agreed that we need to clear the air so that people in both countries are reassured...,” Mr. Krishna told a joint media event with the Italian Minister.

Though the visit was pre-scheduled, the incident is dominating the stay of Mr. Terzi, who is also travelling to Kochi where he will meet the two Italian Mariners detained for the killing.

“We hope to pursue the matter in a friendly spirit, understanding and cooperation,” Mr. Terzi said.

Conveying Italy’s and its people’s condolences to India and the families of fishermen killed, Mr. Terzi said the “unfortunate” incident took place due to the threat of piracy in the Indian Ocean region.

“Our sailor men in Kochi have been the victims of the same reason that caused the death of two Indian fishermen, the threat of piracy,” he said.

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in case of our fishermen killed in Srilanka many times it is in the EEZ or territorial waters of Srilanka (atleast allegedly). But mere transgressing is not something to be dealt with bullet, but rather penalty especially for the fishermen who go there for livelyhood. This is difference when it comes to Kerala and TN. In Kerala the news of two people killed by the Italians became a big news where as TN people and government doesnt take such stand even when scores of our citizen are killed. If you donot shout from rooftop no one is going to hear you in international political space. TN should also learn to rake up the issue akin to the italian shooting next time our citizens are harmed by SLN. Life of our citizens cannot be lost for whatever reasons and we should let the world know that life doesnt come cheap in India.

from:  Ratheesh. R
Posted on: Feb 29, 2012 at 01:13 IST

Fishermen should be protected by NAVY and COAST GUARD and by law in the
entire EEZ of India. GOI fas failed in this and that is why two
fishermen were killed in the Indian Waters. Even in the case of 500
Indian fishermen were killed by SRILANKA, GOI and State Government of
Tamilnadu should have taken similar action. If they have failed in this
people should file cases against GOI and TN government.

from:  Thomas Kocherry
Posted on: Feb 28, 2012 at 20:24 IST

I could not understand why the same yard stick is not applied when 500 odd Tamil Nadu fishermen are killed by Sri Lanka

from:  Rajkiran
Posted on: Feb 28, 2012 at 18:56 IST

We should not excuse those sailors, otherwise such incidents may be repeated. Our government should take the legal steps instead of thing on diplomatic benefits. Other countries never considered the Indian government request whenever a mistake happened by any Indian. Especially gulf countries never been soft on Indians.

from:  murali
Posted on: Feb 28, 2012 at 18:42 IST

As Italian foreign minister pursuing Indian govt. to release their sailors I suspect after some time those Italian marines may be release as it happen in so many cases in which western countries able to secure their citizens form prosecution in other countries, using their political pressure. Lets see how long these Italian could remain in Indian detention.

from:  shanku karan
Posted on: Feb 28, 2012 at 18:02 IST

The threat of piracy cannot be an excuse to not pay the deceased families. These families have lost their only bread winner. Instead of wasting time and millions on the talks to clear the air, both the governments shall provide the financial support to both the families for a better future.

from:  Tushar
Posted on: Feb 28, 2012 at 17:59 IST
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