Fishermen's case should be left to GoI, Kerala govt: Krishna

Fishermen's case should be left to GoI, Kerala govt: Krishna

Amid a diplomatic standoff over the killing of two Indian fishermen, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna today said any decision on how to pursue the case against two Italian naval personnel should be left to the Centre and Kerala government.

"That's a call which Government of India and State Government of Kerala has to take," Krishna said when asked whether Italy has accepted that the case should be handled as per the Indian law.

Italy has been pressing India to allow the case in which two of its marines were charged with murder, to be taken out of a Kerala court while New Delhi has been maintaining that the law will take its own course in India.

Mounting a diplomatic offensive, Italy's Deputy Foreign Minister Steffan de Mistura had come to Delhi yesterday and met his Indian counterpart Preneet Kaur but the two sides apparently made no headway in resolving the row.

India has made it clear that the issue would be handled according to the law of the land and said the "very fair and free judiciary" will take the right decision.

Mistura met Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy last night but the meeting failed to end the standoff with both sides sticking to their stands.

Italy has already moved the Kerala High Court for quashing the murder charges against the marines in the killing of the fishermen off Kerala coast last Wednesday.