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India will bring back Italian marines: Chandy

Thiruvananthapuram, March 18 (IANS) 12:20 IST
AFP Photo

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy informed the state assembly Monday that India would go to any length to see that the two Italian marines were brought back to stand trial for killing two Indian fishermen.

Chandy spoke in response to an adjournment motion that was moved by the Left opposition in the state assembly.

"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last week informed both houses of parliament that the government would go to any extent to see that the two marines are brought back to face trial. Please see the tough stand that both the centre and our government has taken towards this, whenever this issue came up in the courts in the country," Chandy said.

Meanwhile, leader of opposition V.S. Achuthanadan created a flutter in the house when he mentioned that Italy has always taken us for a ride in the past; the treasury benches were up in arms when he said that right from the time Rajiv Gandhi became prime minister, there have been Italian deals like Westland Helicopters, Bofors and the recent scam of the helicopter deal.

Speaker G. Karthikeyan was seen asking the CPI M veteran to refrain from mentioning Rajiv Gandhi's name because this was not the issue of the adjournment motion.

Later, the speaker pointed out that the reference made to Rajiv Gandhi by Achuthanandan would be expunged and will not find mention in the proceedings of the house.

Earlier, Chandy expressed his displeasure when CPI M member P.K. Gurudasan, while seeking leave for the motion, mentioned Sonia Gandhi in his speech.

"Please note that when your government was in office 2006-11 under Achuthanandan, there were three separate incidents of foreign vessels ramming into our fishing boats.

In one incident, when one of our fishermen died after a Chinese vessel hit his boat, you collected Rs.2 lakh as compensation and did not care to even take the ship into custody. In another case, two fishermen continue to be missing. In that case too, you collected Rs.2 lakh each as compensation and did not make any arrest. There was also another hit and run case and you did nothing," pointed out Chandy.

Later Achuthanandan led the entire opposition out of the house after the speaker refused to discuss the motion moved by them.

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