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No leniency against Italian ship crew, says Oommen Chandy

Kochi, Sat, 18 Feb 2012 ANI

Kochi, Feb 18 (ANI): Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy here on Saturday said they have taken the matter seriously and will not allow the culprits to escape from the legal proceedings involved in the shooting of Indian fishermen.


Addressing mediapersons Chandy said: "We are continuously in touch with the Ministry of External Affairs and the state offices have already registered a case against these persons. We are taking it as a very serious case and we will not allow the culprits to escape from the legal proceedings,"


Two fishermen were killed, when security guards on an Italian merchant vessel, 'Enrica Lexie', opened fire on a boat on Indian territorial waters, after it mistook the people on the boat to be pirates.


According to media reports, navy personnel who were on board the Italian ship had fired warning shots, after some people on an Indian fishing vessel in the high seas allegedly attacked them.


Chandy said that he was unwilling to accept any hearsay, adding that the state authorities have been collecting all the evidence required to book the perpetrators.


"We are not accepting their case. We are collecting the evidence, we are at it and we are quite sure that we can do necessary things against these culprits," said Chandy.


The surviving fishermen had sought help from the officials at the Neendakara Coastal police station.


The Italian ambassador, Giacomo Sanfelice di Monteforte was summoned and asked to ensure that the crew of the ship would cooperate with Indian authorities in the probe.


In New Delhi, Defence Minster AK Antony had earlier said that those who were found guilty of committing the crime would be punished.


The Italian Navy, however, said that the fishing boat had approached the Napoli-registered vessel in an aggressive manner, compelling the guards on the vessel to open fire at the Indian fishermen. (ANI)


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