Fishermen killing: Italy summons Indian Envoy

New Delhi: Amidst escalating diplomatic row, Italian Foreign Ministry today summoned Indian Ambassador in Rome Debarata Saha to convey its "concerns" over murder charges framed against two of its marines in connection with the killing two Kerala fishermen at sea.

Saha was summoned a day after Italian Ambassador to India Giacomo Sanfelice was recalled to Rome for "consultations", soon after a chargesheet was filed against two Italian marines in the killing of two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast three months ago.

"Indian Ambassador to Italy was called to Italian Foreign Ministry today. He met the Director General of the Foreign Ministry. The concern of the Italian government at the charges filed against the marines in custody in Kerala was conveyed to him," sources in the Ministry of External Affairs said here. They said Saha has "assured that he would communicate these concerns to the appropriate authorities in India."

The Indian Ambassador was summoned to the Foreign Ministry which "firmly signalled" that the judicial developments related to the Italian sailors were not acceptable to Italian government. Saha`s summoning comes soon after a court in Kerala rejected the bail application of two Italian marines – Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone- accused in the fishermen killing case.

The marines on board the Italian ship `Enrica Lexie` had allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen–Valentine Jalastine and Ajesh Bi –on February 15, apparently mistaking them to be pirates. The marines, who were arrested on February 19, are lodged in the Central Prison in Thiruvanathapuram under judicial remand.