This Article is From May 03, 2016

Congress Tries To Swap Unremitting Agusta Pressure For Italian Marines

Congress Tries To Swap Unremitting Agusta Pressure For Italian Marines

UN arbitration court has ruled that India should release an Italian marine who was detained in 2012.


  • Italian marine can go home with Supreme Court's approval: UN court
  • 2 marines arrested for shooting Kerala fishermen, one already sent home
  • Congress says government 'deliberately lost case', has let down India
New Delhi: The case of the Italian marines has been "deliberately lost" by the government, the Congress alleged today, with Jyotiraditya Scindia professing, "The NDA government is hand-in-glove with Italy".

The accusation of an Italian job is usually hurled by the ruling BJP at the Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, owing to her origins.

But in a recent UN court's order on the pair of Italian marines arrested by India for killing two fishermen, the Congress has sensed an opportunity. The party is taking a near-daily beating on a corruption scandal with Mrs Gandhi and other top leaders mentioned in an Italian court that concluded AgustaWestland paid large bribes to nail a 3,600-crore deal to supply helicopters to India in 2010.

Yesterday, a UN court handling the dispute between Italy and India over the fishermen killed off the Kerala coast in 2012, said that Salvatore Girone, the marine who has been detained in India for the last four years, should be able to return home with conditions imposed by the Supreme Court - like reporting periodically to an authority picked by the judges here.

The other marine was allowed to travel to Italy in 2014 after he developed ischaemia - restricted blood supply that can lead to a stroke.

"The NDA government is hand-in-glove with Italy," says Congress' Jyotiraditya Scindia

This government says "they are patriotic, then why are the two marines going back?" Mr Scindia asked. His Congress party has alleged that while in New York for a UN summit last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered his Italian counterpart a deal to trade the marines for information that would implicate or embarrass Mrs Gandhi. The government has denied this allegation in Parliament.

Italy says the Kerala fishermen were shot in 2012 after being mistaken for pirates by the marines, who were guarding an oil tanker. India denies accusations that it was wrong to detain the marines, and says they must be tried for murder here. Both countries have agreed to abide by the findings of the UN court.