Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has expressed strong feelings over the Centre’s handling of the proceedings in the International Tribunal on Law of the Sea (ITLOS) which culminated in the ruling that the Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen at sea in February 2012 could not be tried in Indian courts. The marines had said that they shot the two fishermen “mistaking them for pirates.”
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, he said the matter definitely deserved a more sensitive and cautious handling from the beginning and during the proceedings in the ITLOS, as it involved the loss of life of two innocent Indians.
“It is quite shocking that such a grave crime committed against our citizens is not being brought to justice in our country. Whatever be the technicalities of international conventions, the decision of the ITLOS has resulted in added grief for the bereaved families and the people of Kerala,” he said.
Mr. Vijayan urged the Union government to take earnest efforts to build international pressure for a fair trial in Italy.
“As two valuable lives have been lost without any provocation from the victims, we need to bargain for an exemplary amount as compensation. We should also keep our option of approaching the ITLOS within the stipulated time of one year if getting adequate compensation is not possible through negotiations,” he said.
The letter urged Mr. Modi to intervene in the matter to ensure justice for two countrymen who lost their lives while on the seas to earn their livelihood.