The gunning down of two Indian fishermen by Italian marines on board an oil carrier on February 15 off the Kerala coast was unpardonable and those responsible should be punished, Union Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan said on Monday.

He promised steps to ensure that such incidents did not recur. Talking to reporters at an interactive meeting organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry, he said that the government wanted to put an end to such unfortunate incidents, and would also extend full protection to Indian fishermen.

He said that the Shipping Ministry was in the process of discussing a land use policy and a coastal shipping policy that would be placed before the Cabinet soon.