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Updated: February 17, 2012 14:13 IST

Kerala fishermen killing: Guilty will be punished, says Antony

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Defence Minister A.K. Antony, while commenting on the killing of Indian fishermen by an Italy oil tanker crew said, the incidents was
Defence Minister A.K. Antony, while commenting on the killing of Indian fishermen by an Italy oil tanker crew said, the incidents was "against the laws and norms." File photo.

India on Friday said the firing by armed guards on-board an Italian merchant ship killing two Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala, was “against the laws and norms” and the guilty will be punished.

“We are taking this issue very seriously. What happened was against the laws and the norms. The guilty will have to be punished,” Defence Minister A.K. Antony told reporters here.

Underlining that India wanted to send “strong signals” on the issue, the minister said, “This is not only for India but for all others. Everybody should follow the norms and the laws.”

He was asked about the steps being taken by the government to book the guilty in the incident.

Mr. Antony said the Kerala police and the Indian Coast Guard were questioning all the people involved in the case and it would be “inappropriate” for him to comment further on the incident.

The two fishermen, native of Alappuzha, were killed on Wednesday night when armed guards on-board the Italian merchant vessel Enrica Lexie opened fire on their fishing boat.

The vessel was brought to Kochi on Friday and police and Coast Guard personnel were questioning the crew. The ship has been berthed at Kochi oil terminal, where security has been tightened.

The preliminary assessment of the marine authorities is that the armed guards aboard the ship might have fired at the fishing boat mistaking it for a vessel belonging to pirates.

Italian Consul General in India, GiamPaolo Cutillo, was in Kochi on Thursday in connection with the incident and had met the city Police Commissioner there.

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Ashok: ("Its the wrong perception of the italian guard that
made him think that anyone who is not having white complexion is a
pirate, shameful.") Oh please, listen to this prejudice. Who's the bigot here?

from:  Ashu
Posted on: Feb 20, 2012 at 09:47 IST

As per one report, one fisherman is from Kerala and one is originally
from Tamil Nadu. Are the squabbling individuals who see only state,
religion etc happy?

Pakistani,Indian (Tamil and non-tamil!) and Srilankan fishermen are
arrested and occassionally fired upon by the other party. But this
issue has no comparison. Here is a foreign vessel, close to india,
shooting at a tiny boat and justifying that they thought they were
pirates. Did they also think that they are in Somalian waters.

from:  J Krishnan
Posted on: Feb 19, 2012 at 23:15 IST

Does it really matter if they were tamilians or keralites? Please stop being petty. They were indians and India must now show that life of its citizens is paramount.

from:  Rahul Vijh
Posted on: Feb 19, 2012 at 01:52 IST

@prabhu even though those fisher men went to fishing from kerala coast , they are tamilians , please the read the news correct .
i hope that satisfies you

from:  vicke
Posted on: Feb 18, 2012 at 07:37 IST

Shooting of Tamilnadu fisherman by Srilankan navy has been happening over the years and Indian government was simply ignoring this issue.

Now, when a fisherman from his own state has been killed, Mr.Antony, is talking seriously about it.

I hope the Indian government will take a serious note of these issues, atleast from now-onwards.

from:  Prabhu
Posted on: Feb 17, 2012 at 18:31 IST

I think there is a correction to be made. The fishermen are from Tamil nadu.They hail from Kanyakumari district.Had read the local news paper of kanyakumari and saw black flags tied on road's.

from:  jeberson
Posted on: Feb 17, 2012 at 17:05 IST

How can a small fishing boat whose maximum speed in 8 knots outrun a
huge ship like this? Its the wrong perception of the italian guard that
made him think that anyone who is not having white complexion is a
pirate, shameful. In this case its punishable due to the loss of
precious lives. The owner of the ship should compensate for the loss.

from:  Ashok
Posted on: Feb 17, 2012 at 15:26 IST

Mr. Antony, can we have a same statement for Tamilnadu fisherman as well as? Why you did not take the issue seriously when Tamilnadu fishermen were shot dead by Srilankan Navy? Where is our law and where is our Unity? I hope justice will be done for our fisherman’s death.

from:  Stanly.MJ
Posted on: Feb 17, 2012 at 15:03 IST

Even before arresting the culprits how come the Italy can exert so much
pressure on India to release the ship?. Do they think India is a banana
republic that a phone call from them will clear them all and they don't
need to care of Indian laws?.This is because India never asserts itself
even when they are right due to our weak leaders and India has always
been a soft state.

from:  Nagarajan
Posted on: Feb 17, 2012 at 14:33 IST

Let us see how our Indian Law and Ministers handle this issue and set an example. We have to be cognizant of the fact that the other party is from Italy(!). But to be fair, how can guards from ship resort to firing against a small vessel despite giving warning or approaching the Indian Navy or Police who are supposed to monitor Indian waters? Its ridiculous and its worrisome when you think of the security for these poor fisherman who make their living from the sea and last but not the least the security of the nation!

from:  vinodh
Posted on: Feb 17, 2012 at 14:21 IST
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