Kochi: The Kochi police have registered a murder case against the crew of the Italian ship over the killing of two Indian fisherman. However, no arrests have been made in the case so far, following a diplomatic standoff between the two countries.
Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy has said that killing of innocent fishermen is a 'very serious issue'.
Police officials have conducted various rounds of discussions onboard the vessel with its captain and crew, but the crew is not not willing to surrender to the Indian government, and are awaiting a confirmation from Italian authorities.
Kochi Police Commissioner MR Ajith Kumar, who is facilitating and coordinating the probe, said on Friday that no decision has been taken on arresting the Italian crew.
Speaking to IANS, Mr Kumar said a murder case has been registered and the Kollam police has begun investigation.
"The due process of law has set in, and at the moment we have not decided on any arrest. The case has been registered against two security personnel of the Italian ship," said Kumar.
Two fishermen, Ajesh Binki, 25, from Tamil Nadu and Gelastine, 45, from Kerala, were mistaken for pirates and shot dead by the crew of an Italian ship on Wednesday evening about 14 nautical miles off Alappuzha.
According to officials attached to the Italian embassy in New Delhi, navy personnel on board the Enrica Lexie fired warning shots after they were allegedly attacked in international waters by people on an Indian fishing vessel.
The ship has 34 people on board, of whom 19 are Indians.
Meanwhile, Coast Guard Inspector General of Police PS Basra told reporters here Friday that the firing was done without any provocation.
"The fishermen in the boat were not in possession of any arms as alleged by the Italian authorities," said Mr Basra.
(With inputs from IANS)
Story first published:
February 18, 2012 09:01 IST