The Italians who shot dead two Indian fishermen on the sea after confusing them to be pirates will have to face the law, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said on Saturday.
"We are taking the case very seriously and will not allow the men to escape the legal proceedings," Chandy said. The Congress leader made it clear that the Kerala government was not buying the version of the Italians that their naval crew opened fire only after coming under attack from the Indian fishing boat.
"We are not accepting their case. We are collecting evidence and we are quiet sure we can take necessary action against the culprits. At the same time we have to go by law," he reiterated.
Ajesh Binki from Tamil Nadu and Gelastine from Kerala, were shot dead 14 nautical miles off Alappuzha by the crew of the Italian cargo vessel on Wednesday evening.
The Italian embassy in New Delhi said the navy personnel on board Enrica Lexie fired warning shots after being attacked by people on an Indian fishing vessel. Also according to the Italian ship crew, the incident happened in international waters, a point that has been challenged by the Indian authorities.
Meanwhile, Union Minister for Shipping GK Vasan on Saturday denounced the killing of the fishermen as "unacceptable". He said the ship personnel had not taken the known protocols even if it was to be believed that they were attacked by pirates.