Fishermen killed, Italy misguides India in investigation?
Initially, spokesperson of the Italian vessel claimed that the two deceased were mistaken for pirates, but within a day the nation has come up with some different story saying that their vessel was attacked on the sea just ahead of the killing of the two Indian fishermen.
Italian embassy on Thursday, Feb 16 claimed, "The Italian ship was attacked yesterday in international waters about 30 nautical miles of the south west coast of India. Italian navy personnel on board following international protocols after repeated warnings and after ascertaining from binoculars that the pirates were armed gradually fired some warning shots and the pirates withdrew."
"Later, the master of the Italian ship was contacted by the Indian coast guards and requested to direct towards the Kochi harbour to offer information on the pirate attack. The master agreed and the ship is now in Kochi harbour. We are in touch with the Indian authorities and we shall work together to clarify all aspects of the incident," added the statement issued by the Italian Embassy.
Earlier, the Italian officials had apologised for their act and said that they had mistaken the fishermen for pirates. The Italian vessel, which has been identified as Enrica Lexie, was being directed to come to Kochi for an investigation.
Citing the flip-flop in the statements made by the Italian officials, many started speculating - is Italy trying to misguide India in the probe? Meanwhile, the Kerala government announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to close kin of the two deceased and Foreign Minister SM Krishna assured minute investigation in the incident.