The announcement of Italian
Mariners, who allegedly killed our two fishermen in the sea are
not coming back is shocking. The Italian Ambassador stood as a
security in the Supreme Court (SC). If Italians do not stand by
their promise in the SC , Government of India (GOI) should suspend
all Diplomatic Relations with Italy.
The Italian Ambassador should
be sent back. GOI will never do this as was the case with Bhopal
Gas tragedy when the MNCs did not honour the agreements. The same
is happening with Plachimada Tribunal. In Bofors Case Quiterochi,
an Italian escaped. GOI is more interested in the MNCs than our
poor Indian Fishermen. GOI should act. All legal actions should be
Its decision not to send the marines back to India to stand trial
by revoking the solemn guarantee given by the Italian Government
to the Supreme Court of India came as a rude shock. At a moment
when the believers are focused on Italy because of the papal
election, the country’s reputation and credibility have hit an
all-time low. The Chiristian Faith is called into question.
Italy had argued, right from the beginning, that the shooting took
place in international waters and that India had no jurisdiction
in the case. But having faced court action in Kerala, the Italians
fought the battle in the courts and simultaneously pressed the
government of India at the highest level to resolve the issue
They had sensed the impact of public opinion on
the courts in Kerala and tried to take the case out of the State.
It was with a sigh of relief that Italy greeted the decision by
the Supreme Court of India to move the case to Delhi and try it in
a special court under the provision of maritime laws, including
the Law of the Sea.
In the midst of all this, Italy even managed
to get India to announce the ratification of a treaty with Italy
that allows citizens convicted of crimes in either country to
serve their prison sentences in their home country. Against this
backdrop, the resorting by Italy to violation of an explicit
undertaking is all the more reprehensible.
Law of the Sea is very
clear. 12 Nautical belongs to the State. 200 nautical miles
belongs to the nation. Beyond 200 Nautical miles is the
International Waters. There is no ambiguity that India has the
legal right to handle the trial in India.
Thomas Kocherry is executive committee member of National
Fishworker's Forum firstname.lastname@example.org