The standoff with Italy over the killing of two fishermen off the Kerala coast seems to be snowballing with the European Union now wading into the troubled waters.
“On Italy’s request, we are undertaking contacts aimed at contributing to finding a satisfactory solution as soon as possible,” said Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, in Brussels.
However, India — which has arrested two Italian marines for the February 15 firing deaths — is adamant the law will take its course. “India has made its stand clear. There is no compromise,” minister for overseas Indian affairs Vayalar Ravi said.
Italy has hardened its posture, saying its nationals can be tried under its own laws and that the Indian position risks creating a dangerous precedent regarding the fight against piracy. India insists the waters where the crime took place are not pirate-infested — the marines have said they mistook the fishermen for pirates — and even if it had been a pirate attack, the crew of the Italian ship didn’t follow protocol required in such a case.