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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Fishermen killings: 'marines didn't warn Indian boat'

Rajesh Ahuja, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 30, 2013
First Published: 00:17 IST(30/11/2013) | Last Updated: 08:35 IST(30/11/2013)

Before shooting two Indian fishermen, the Italian marines on board MT Enrica Lexie didn’t issue any warning on loudspeaker or fired warning shots, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has concluded in its probe.

“Once a suspect boat approaches, it should be warned on loud speaker and warning shots should also be fired.  But in this case, no rules were followed. There were 11 fishermen on the Indian boat St Antony when it came under fire from Italian marines. But only two of them - Ajesh Binki and Jelestine – were shot while they were navigating the boat. The remaining nine fishermen were sleeping when the firing took place,” said a union home ministry official requesting anonymity.

The official added that the two fishermen were killed in a kind of targeted shooting where one was shot in the head and other in the heart which proved instantaneously lethal.

The two accused - Salvatore Girone and Massimiliano Latorre - were part of the six-member naval team onboard MT Enrica Lexie to take care of pirates.

Sources in the NIA said they didn’t get any help from the four marines - Voglino Renato, Andronico Massimo, Fontano Antonio and Conte Alessandro – who were witnesses. 

The NIA is ready to file its complaint in which it will invoke section 3 of the SUA (Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act, 2002) which advocates that causing “death to any person shall be punished with death” and is awaiting the home ministry’s nod.

Union home ministry is now seeking a report from the attorney general before giving a go ahead to file a complaint.

The accused are now staying in the Italian embassy in New Delhi awaiting trial.


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