Thiruvananthapuram, March 21 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Friday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to see that India does not budge under pressure from international agencies trying to get the two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen to escape without trial.
Chandy’s letter comes at a time when media reports have surfaced that the president of the UN General Assembly John W. Ashe is in the country under pressure from Italy.
“The incident that occurred when two Indian fishermen were killed by these two Italian marines was most gruesome and people in Kerala are closely watching the ongoing trial. Any decision by bowing to international pressure would be belittling the law of our land,” said Chandy in his letter.
The Kerala High Court and the Supreme Court have upheld the case and the latter has asked for a probe by the National Investigation Agency. The trial is now on in Delhi.
The marines, Massimilliano Lattore and Salvatore Girone, have been held in India since February 2012 when they allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala, mistaking them for pirates.
The marines were serving as security personnel on an Italian oil tanker MT Enrica Lexie crossing the Indian Ocean.
India claimed jurisdiction in the case while Italy alleges the incident took place in international waters and the marines should be tried in their home country.