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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Kerala: Denied justice, but legal fight not in our hands, say fishermen kin

The Court of Arbitration in The Hague has ordered that Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone will not be tried in India but will face proceedings in Italy.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Published: July 4, 2020 6:28:34 am
Italian marines, Kerala fishermen, Fisherman death, Kerala news, indian express news In 2013, a year after the fishermen were killed, the Italian government gave the two families a compensation of Rs 1 crore each after they withdrew their affidavits in the court against its plea, seeking quashing of the FIR against the marines. (Representational)

“We were denied justice. But, I don’t want to see them face punishment for having killed my husband… I have pardoned them, but the Indian government can decide on the future course of action,’’ said Dora, wife of Valentine, one of the two fishermen shot dead off Kerala coast in 2012, allegedly by two Italian marines.

The Court of Arbitration in The Hague has ordered that Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone will not be tried in India but will face proceedings in Italy.

Dora, who got a government job as a peon on compassionate grounds after Valentine’s death, said, “The governments are deciding on legal matters. Our government can go ahead with whatever step they intend to do. But I have pardoned the marines. I don’t want to see them face punishment. I won’t get back my husband. In the name of God, I have forgiven them. Why should I invite their curse on my children?’

Dora’s eldest son Derrick said they were “denied justice”, but they have limited options. “The legal fight is not in our hands. We only learn about verdicts.’’

In 2013, a year after the fishermen were killed, the Italian government gave the two families a compensation of Rs 1 crore each after they withdrew their affidavits in the court against its plea, seeking quashing of the FIR against the marines.

Dora said she is now building a house on land bought with a portion of the compensation. “I do not want to send my sons to the sea,’’ she said.

At Eraviputhenthurai village in Tamil Nadu’s Nagercoil district, a relative of Ajeesh Pinku, the other fisherman killed in firing, is at a loss. “I am not happy… But, we are helpless,’’ said the victim’s aunt Janet Marry.

Ajeesh lost his parents years before his death and Janet brought up him and his two sisters. “The compensation was deposited in the names of two sisters. I don’t know how to take forward the legal fight,’’ said Janet.

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