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Fishermen in Kerala demand arrest of Italian vessel captain

Thiruvananthapuram , Wed, 22 Feb 2012 ANI

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 21 (ANI): Fishermen here on Tuesday took to the streets demanding the arrest of the captain of Italian vessel 'Enrica Lexie' following the death of two Indian fishermen.

 

The protests came a day after a court in the Kerala's Kollam District sent two crew members of the ship, suspected of killing the fishermen off the Kochi coast, to 14 days judicial custody.

 

Rejecting the Italian government's plea for diplomatic immunity and that the two naval personnel be tried back in Italy for their alleged crime, First Class Magistrate K P John said the accused would be tried according to Indian law.

 

President of Kerala's Swathanthra Malsya Thozhilali Federation, T Peter said it was imperative the captain of the ship also be arrested.

 

"This protest is against the decision of not arresting the Italian ship's captain. There are several strikes in different parts of Kerala demanding the arrest of the captain," said Peter.

 

A case of murder had been registered against the crew. The Captain of the Italian ship as well as the guards had earlier refused to surrender, saying the incident had occurred in international waters.

 

The two fishermen were killed when a navy security team on the Italian merchant vessel opened fire on their boat mistaking it for pirates at sea off the coast of Kerala.

 

Italy's Navy said the fishing boat had approached the Napoli-registered vessel in an aggressive manner. (ANI)

 


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