Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said the government would continue to explore every diplomatic and legal option to ensure the return of the two Italian marines, accused of having shot dead two Indian fishermen, to stand trial in India.
The Supreme Court, the Prime Minister pointed out in his reply to Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s letter dated March 12, had permitted the two marines to leave India and remain in Italy for four weeks beginning February 22 on the basis of the Italian ambassador’s undertaking to return them to New Delhi on or before March 22.
“I share the sense of national outrage over the communication from the Italian government that the two marines will not return to India,” he said in the letter, released for publication here on Wednesday.
“As I have stated in Parliament, our government has made it clear that these actions by the Government of Italy are not acceptable. They violate every rule of diplomatic discourse and call into question the solemn commitment given by an accredited representative of a sovereign government to our Supreme Court and would, naturally, cast a shadow on our relationship. Our government has insisted that the Italian authorities respect the undertaking given to the Honourable Supreme Court,” the Prime Minister said.
Mr. Singh said the Ministry of External Affairs had conveyed its stand unambiguously to the Italian ambassador in New Delhi on March 12.