Marines row to cast shadow on the Colosseum in Rome

New Delhi, April 2: The row over where exactly the Italian marines should stand trial has already blighted bilateral ties and now it is going to cast a shadow on world-famous monuments of historical importance.

Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno wants all the lights at the Colosseum and the Imperial Fora to be swtiched off on Wednesday in order to "draw attention to the shameful case of the two marines".

For the first time since lights were installed at the Colosseum, people would be forced to admire the grandeur of the elliptical amphitheatre in the dark if the mayor has his way. It is noteworthy that the Colosseum and the Imperial Fora were built nearly 2000 years ago.

Members of CasaPound, a neo-fascist group, are planning to stage a protest in front of the seat of the Italian government on Wednesday. They have demanded that Italy shut down its embassy in India. The Indian ambassador should also be expelled from Rome, they urged.

Interestingly, CasaPound is of the opinion that Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti must not remain Senator for life. Like other Italian right-wing groups, it believes that he buckled to diplomatic pressure and sent the marines back to India where they face murder charges.

Salvatore Girone and Massimiliano Latorre are accused of shooting dead two fishermen off the Kerala coast on Feb 15, 2012. Both the victims were on board a small trawler Saint Antony that had drifted near Enrica Lexie.

Italy argued that the Italian vessel was in international waters at the time of the shooting and therefore the matter is beyond Kerala's jurisdiction. However, the state government rejected Italy's claim. Police charged the marines with killing Gelastine aka Valentine and Ajesh Binki.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court ordered that Girone and Latorre would be tried by a special court in Delhi. When the apex court allowed the marines to visit their homeland for casting vote in the local elections which were held on Feb 24 and 25, initially Italy conveyed that they would not be returning.

India protested strongly as the Italian ambassador Daniele Mancini had given an undertaking to the Supreme Court that the duo would come back by Mar 24. Finally, Italy relented and the marines arrived in Delhi just days before the deadline set by the court.

OneIndia News

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