Taranto mayor extends helping hand to fishermen's kids

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Rome, March 16: Mayor of Taranto, which is home to one of the two murder accused Italian marines responsible for the latest diplomatic row between their country and Italy, has offered to take up the responsibility for education of the slain fishermen's children. The marines were accused of shooting the two fishermen dead while patrolling.

The two marines were permitted to travel to their country to participate in the recent election by the Supreme Court of India on being assured by the Italian Ambassador to India, Daniele Mancini.

But soon after they went back, Rome told New Delhi that it would not hand over the duo back for the matter deserved to be settled under international law. A furious India called it a breach of trust and the apex court asked Mancini not to leave the country till further orders were given. All airports of the country were alerted to ensure that the Italian envoy could not leave the country.

In this situation, the offer made by Taranto Mayor Ippazio Stefano is considered to be a move to calm down the heated up situation. Stephano has intimated Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about his proposal on Friday, said a report.

India had earlier decided to downgrade the India-Italy ties and the first step towards it was the country's ambassador-designate to Italy Basant Kumar Gupta not taking his flight to Rome on Friday. Gupta's predecessor Debabrata Saha had retired last December.

Sources in the South Block said it was going through the gamut of relations with Italy, including trade, economic and defence ties and they could also take a hit if India continued to take the issue further.

Stephano said Italy had great respect for India and the two countries shared a very good relation. He also mentioned that the British Indian Army which had liberated Italy after World War II comprised Indian soldiers. He expressed regret for the killing of the Indian fishermen and said he was eager to give an opportunity to the victim's children.

OneIndian News

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