Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], July 4 (ANI): Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking that the Indian Government to build international pressure for a fair trial in Italy in connection with the shooting of two Indian fishermen by Italian marines off the Kerala coast in 2012.
The letter addressing the Prime Minister read, "I invite your kind attention to the award of the International Tribunal on Law of the Sea (ITLOS) wherein, it has been stated that India has the right to receive compensation for the loss of life, physical harm and material damage in the case in which two of our countrymen lost their precious lives in an act of indiscriminate shooting by two Italian mariners on February 15, 2012. Though the ITLOS has upheld our right to compensation, it has unfortunately been held that the crime cannot be tried in Indian courts."
"It is quite shocking that such a grave crime committed against our citizens is not being brought to justice in our country. The matter definitely deserved a more sensitive and cautious handling from the beginning and during the proceedings in the ITLOS, as it involved the loss of life of two innocent Indians. Whatever be the technicalities of the international conventions, the decision of the ITLOS has resulted in added grief to the bereaved families and people of Kerala. I wish to convey our strong feelings in this issue," the letter read.
"If the award of the Arbitral Tribunal is not appealable as stated by the Central Government in the affidavit filed before the Hon'ble Supreme Court, Government of India should take earnest efforts to build international pressure for a fair trial in Italy," it read.
The letter further read, "As two valuable lives have been lost without any provocation from the victims, we need to bargain for an exemplary amount. We should also keep our option of approaching the ITLOS within the stipulated time of one year if getting adequate compensation is not possible through negotiations. Though trial of the perpetrators of the crime in India have escaped their trial in India, all other possible actions need to be taken."
"I request the intervention of your goodself in the matter so that possible justice is rendered to two of our countrymen who lost their lives while on the seas to earn their livelihood," it added.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague in the Netherlands had on Thursday given its decision saying that the Italian marines - Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone -- will not be tried in India.
The Arbitration Court had ruled that India is entitled to claim compensation from Italy and observed that the two marines had violated international law and, as a result, Italy breached India's freedom of navigation, under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
However, the tribunal held that the marines are entitled to immunity and precluded India from exercising its jurisdiction over them.
The Centre told the Apex Court that it accepts and abides by the international tribunal's decision in the killings of two fishermen by Italian Marines. The Tribunal has ruled for a trial of Marines in Italy.
According to Indian prosecution, on February 15, 2012, two Indian fishermen were killed off the coast of Kerala by the two Italian marines on-board the Italian-flagged commercial oil tanker MV Enrica Lexie. (ANI)