Marine row: PM says ties with Italy will be hit

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday reiterated that the Italian Government’s refusal to send back the two marines facing trial for allegedly killing two Indian fishermen was not acceptable to India.

Amid Opposition allegations that the Indian Government colluded with Italy to save the marines, the Prime Minister clarified in both the Houses that there could be no two opinions about the action that had been taken by the Italian Government.

He said the Italian Government had violated every rule of diplomatic discourse and breached the commitment given to our Supreme Court. “This cannot, by any standards, be in the interests of any bilateral relationship that has to function on the basis of trust,” he said.

The Prime Minister added that the Centre had insisted that the two accused persons should face trial in India. “If they do not keep their word, there will be consequences for our relations with Italy,” he added.

Earlier, Opposition leader in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said Italy’s act was the first case of a “State-sponsored deception and a State-sponsored abduction.” He urged the Centre to respond to the issue with utmost seriousness.

CPI (M) MP K.N. Balagopal, who hails from Kollam in Kerala, where the fishermen were killed, said such an incident could happen anywhere in the country. He demanded a separate discussion on the matter.

Published on March 13, 2013

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