Kochi: It has been more than 2 days since two Indian fishermen were killed allegedly by the crew members of Italian ship Enrica Lexie but no arrests have been made yet. The Prime Minister will now be consulted as the issue has taken a diplomatic turn and the Ministry of External Affair's advice will be sought as well.
Sources in the Ministry said that the police has been asked to prepare for detention of the Italian ship crew. Police Chief has been asked to take the help of the Coastguard, added sources.
Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy taking a strong stand on the incident said, "The killing of fishermen is a cruel incident. We will not let it pass till justice is done. We will not allow the culprits to escape from legal proceedings."
The IG of internal security in Kerala told CNN-IBN that exact location of where the firing took place is still unclear despite the MHA maintaining that the incident did take place in Indian waters.
S Anand Krishnan said, "There is a problem about the jurisdiction. But we have registered a case under Indian penal code. Their authorities are claiming that the case should be pursued under international law. The exact spot is yet to established through technical corroboration. Will wait for diplomatic correspondence."
Meanwhile, the Italian ship's crew has refused to be questioned and say they will co-operate only after discussing the matter with their diplomats. The crew is awaiting the arrival of a high-level team of diplomats from Italy to meet officials in Delhi and then advise them on the next step.
On Friday, the Home Ministry had given orders to the Kerala Police to arrest the armed guards on the ship.
Sources say that the Italian crew insists that India cannot take any action against them as they were in international waters, when the incident took place.
Commenting on the incident, Minister for Shipping GK Vasan said, "It is internationally well known fact that whenever pirates attack there is a proper protocol to tackle it. The protocol was not followed by the Italian ship. There was a delay made by the crew in contacting the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC)."
The Indian authorities say there is nothing to suggest that the fishermen were in the wrong in fact it appears the ship was reckless in opening fire. It used excessive force and violated standard anti-piracy protocols, a case of murder has now been filed against the six armed guards.
Regional Commander of Coast Guard Region said, "If it happens or likely to happen they are supposed to report to the concerned agency no report has been received by the HQ. They should have reported about the pirate attack."