India on Tuesday made it clear that they will respond only after going through Italy’s response, after Italian foreign ministry made it clear that the marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen would not return to India when their court-allowed leave ends this month.
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said: “We will take a decision after reading what they have written. Reading the letter, no point in commenting without reading what they have to say.”
The two Italian marines, Salvatore Latorre and Massimiliano Girone, expressed their happiness over their foreign ministry’s decision. The two marines were allowed to go back to Italy to vote in February’s general elections.
The marines, who had allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen in the Arabian Sea, said they were happy to stay back in Italy and join work.
“Now we are finally happy. We are happy to go back to work,” Latorre told Italy’s ANSA news agency.
However, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Tariq Anwar is hopeful of resolution of the Italian marines’ crisis. “The external affairs ministry is examining the issue. I think the MEA has taken view of this decision and they have chose to review the situation and talk to their Italian counterparts, after talks some solution will come out,” said Anwar.
Two Italian sailors charged with killing two Indian fishermen lost their Supreme Court bid in January this year to be tried on home soil. The sailors, members of a military security team protecting the cargo ship Enrica Lexie, said they mistook the fishermen for pirates off the southern Indian state of Kerala in February 2012.
Italy challenged India's right to try the sailors in the Supreme Court, saying the shooting took place in international waters, outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts. Indian authorities accused the sailors of shooting unarmed fishermen in a "contiguous zone" where Indian law applies.