The widow of one of the Kerala fishermen, who were killed off Kerala coast in 2012, on Thursday lauded the Supreme Court’s decision allowing an Italian marine accused of killing the Indians to go home.
Salvatore Girone, along with another Italian marine Massimiliano Latorre on board ship Enrica Lexie, was accused by India of killing Jelestine and Ajesh Binki off the Kerala coast on February 15, 2012. Latorre went back to Italy after a stroke in 2014. The court recently allowed him to extend his stay to September 30.
The top court also agreed to relax Girone’s bail conditions.
“Let him join his family. We have forgiven both marines long back. I heard one of them (Massimiliano Lattore) suffered a stroke and is undergoing treatment in Italy. It is really sad,” Dora Jelestine said adding she never insisted that both should be tried and punished.
Early this month, the UN’s permanent court of arbitration in The Hague ruled that Girone be allowed to return to his country till the dispute is resolved.
“I know my husband won’t come back. There is no point in pursuing the case against them. Family members of marines told me about hardships they are going through,” she said adding she was thankful to the Italian government for the help rendered to her.
The state government also offered a job to her in fisheries department in Kollam.
Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, however, criticised the centre’s decision to go soft on the case.
“All accused committed the serious crime should be tried and punished here. The Centre has been going soft from the beginning,” he said.
He is likely to take up the issue when he calls on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday.
Italy and India have been making contrary claims over the right to prosecute the marines.
Italy claims the deadly shooting took place in international waters, so the sailors should be tried at home. India says it has the right to try the two men as the fishermen were killed in its waters.
The marines say they mistook the fishermen for pirates and opened fire.