Italian marines row: Ambassador Mancini faces music at MEA

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Daniele Mancini
New Delhi, Mar 12: Italian ambassador Daniele Mancini reached the Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday evening as he has been summoned to South Block to explain why his country decided not to send back the two marines who are facing murder charges to India.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has already described Italy's decision as unacceptable. Delhi was outraged by Rome's communication on Monday evening that Salvatore Girone and Massimiliano Latorre will not be coming to India to face trial here for killing two Indian fishermen in Feb 2012.

The Supreme Court allowed the marines to visit their homeland for four weeks and cast vote in the local elections after Italy gave an undertaking that the duo would return to India. Despite this, the Italian government suddenly refused to honour its commitment.

Italy has all along contended that the fishermen were killed in international waters and hence the marines should not be tried by Indian courts.

On Tuesday, members of several parties raised the issue in Parliament. They asked the ruling UPA to demand an explanation from Rome. According to most of the opposition MPs, the Indian government seems to be conspiring with its Italian counterpart.

BJP leader Balbir Punj pointed out that Girone and Latore "were arrested" and police in Kerala have "completely proven" the marines were guilty. "These two are criminals who are being protected by Indian government in collusion with Italians," Punj said.

Left MPs also slammed the Centre and noted that there is a "huge conspiracy" between Rome and Delhi.

The relatives of the victims are equally aghast that justice is being denied to them. The widow of Gelastine aka Valentine, who was killed alongwith Ajesh Binki when a small fishing trawler Saint Antony neared an Italian vessel off the Kerala coast on Feb 15 last year, said that the Indian government must see to it that Latore and Girone "stand trial in the case in our country."

Dora Gelastine urged the Centre to ensure that "any other family" does not suffer like hers had done in the last 13 months.

OneIndia News 

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