Shooting of fishermen: Accused surrender delayed

Kochi: Surrender of two Italian marines, who are suspected to have shot at and killed two Indian fishermen of Kollam coast, appears have got delayed with senior police officials led by City Police Commissioner, M R Ajith Kumar, inside the vessel for about four hours till noon today.

The Commissioner and his team had boarded the vessel at around 8 AM, the deadline set by the police to handover the two armed personnel on board to the Kerala Police.

Superintendent of Police, Kollam, Sam Christy Daniel is also inside the vessel.
Two Forensic experts and a translator have also been taken on board the vessel "Enrica Lexie", it is learnt.

Italian Consul General in Mumbai, Gian Paolo Cutillo, and Defence Attache Franco Favre are also inside the ship.

After more than four hours of negotiation, there was no official word on the outcome of their discussion. Late last night, the Commissioner had gone to the ship and asked the captain to handover the two accused personnel to Kerala Police by 8am today.

The Italian authorities had agreed to hand over the two personnel against whom a case of murder was registered by Kollam Police in connection with the incident.

The two fishermen — Ajesh Binki (25) and Jalastein (45) — were killed on February 15 off Kollam coast when the armed guards of the ship fired at their boat, suspecting it to be a vessel belonging to pirates.

Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi had on Saturday called his Indian counterpart S M Krishna who told him that the captain the Italian oil tanker must cooperate with Indian law enforcers.

During the telephonic talk, Krishna told Terzi that the people onboard the ship, particularly the captain and the two personnel involved in the shooting, should fully cooperate with Indian investigating authorities and the law should be allowed to take its course.