Italian Deputy Foreign Minister meets Kerala CM

Kottayam: In the midst of the diplomatic row between New Delhi and Rome over the killing of Indian fishermen off Kerala coast, Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Steffan de Mistura on Wednesday night met Chief Minister Oomen Chandy here.

Two guards, who allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen on February 15, have been arrested and a murder case filed against them. Earlier, Mistura, accompanied by Italian Ambassador to India Giacomo Sanfelice and two other Embassy officials, reached here from Delhi.

Earlier in the day, Chandy said his government would go ahead with prosecution of the two Italian naval guards who allegedly killed the Indian fishermen off Kollam coast, saying "it is the right and power of the state".

"The two Italians have been booked under Section 302 of IPC and government`s stand is it will proceed with the investigation. It is the right and power of the state. The Centre has extended full support to Kerala`s position," the Chief Minister told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.

Chandy said Kerala viewed the killings `very seriously` and has not accepted arguments of Italian officials on the issue.