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Updated: December 22, 2012 12:35 IST

Latin Bishop backs release of marines

Special Correspondent
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File photo of Archbishop Susai Pakiam of Thiruvananthapuram, who has backed the government's decision to let the two Italian marines, accused of shooting wto Indian fishermen, return home for Christmas.
File photo of Archbishop Susai Pakiam of Thiruvananthapuram, who has backed the government's decision to let the two Italian marines, accused of shooting wto Indian fishermen, return home for Christmas.

Major Archbishop Susai Pakiam of the Latin archdiocese of Thiruvananthapuram has said there was nothing wrong in the decision to allow the two Italian marines, accused of having shot dead two Kerala fishermen, to go home for Christmas.

Stating that the two Italian marines have been ‘living in pain, away from their families’, the Archbishop told journalists on Saturday that no harm would come on account of the ‘humane gesture’ shown to the marines. He did not also see anything wrong in the stand taken by the Central and State governments in the matter. The Italian government had assured the Court that it would bring back the two marines to stand trial and hoped that the Court decision would help improve the ties between the two countries. The State government may have decided to go along with the Court decision seeing it as a humane gesture, he added.

Praising the Italian government and people for the ceaseless manner in which they had pursued the two marines’ case, he said there was much for India to learn from them. “There are many from our land languishing in Sri Lanka and Pakistan, but we are doing little to secure their freedom,” he said and pointed out that an Italian Minister himself had come down to India to assure the Court that the two marines would be brought back to stand trial. “See how intense they are! When I was in Rome (to attend the elevation of Archbishop Baselios Cleemis as Cardinal), everybody was talking about this,” the Archbishop said.

He did not see the possibility of the Italian government going back on its word.

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