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Uproar over Italy’s decision, PM says it will be taken up

PTI New Delhi | Updated on November 20, 2017

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As Italy’s refusal to send back its two marines triggered an uproar, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said the issue will be taken up with that country so that the accused soldiers could be brought back to face trial for alleged murder of two Indian fishermen here.

Left MPs, who met the Prime Minister, said Singh told them that Italy’s decision was “unacceptable“.

However, PMO sources said Singh only told the delegations that the matter would be looked into and he will ask External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to take up the issue with Italy.

Delegations of angry Left and Congress—led UDF MPs met Singh separately to express anguish and demand his intervention in the “serious” matter.

“We met the Prime Minister and took up the issue of Italian marines. The Prime Minister told us that he came to know about this from newspapers. He assured us that he will ask the External Affairs Minister to look into this issue to intervene in this issue,” CPI(M) MP M B Rajesh said.

“He (PM) said this is unacceptable to us,” Rajesh added.

Another party MP P. Karunakaran told a press conference separately that Singh “told us that this is not acceptable to us” and assured the delegation that the matter would be taken up “strongly” with the Italian government.

When pointed out that the PMO said Singh did not say that the decision is “unacceptable”, Rajesh remarked, “it is a lie. If he did not say it is ‘unacceptable’, it means it is acceptable to the government of India.”

Khurshid, meanwhile, said the government is studying Italy’s decision, its reasons as also implications.

“We will study and take a rightful position... We will take informed position,” he told reporters on the issue which has sparked an outrage in Kerala.

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Published on March 12, 2013
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