Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Saturday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh not to succumb to Italian government’s pressure, which has already approached the United Nations for the release of marines facing trial in killing Indian fishermen.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Chandy said the two marines, chargesheeted for murdering fishermen from Kerala, should not be released without trial.
“People of Kerala are anxiously following each stage in the case. The marines had fired deadly shots at the fishermen without any provocation. If the undertrials are released under pressure from the UN or any foreign country, that would give rise to prejudices and belittle our judicial system,’’ Chandy said.
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Chandy’s letter was made public in the wake of media reports that Italy has sought the UN intervention, and UN General Assembly Chief John Ashe is coming to Delhi in this regard.
The Congress government in Kerala has resorted to a tough stand, fearing that release of the marines would serve as a weapon for the Opposition LDF in the LS elections.