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Italian vessel brought to Kochi Port
John F Williams | 17 Feb 2012

Finally the Italian merchant ship Enrica Lexie, which was involved in the shooting down of two fishermen off Kerala coast on Wednesday, has been escorted to the Kochi port on Friday, by the Coast Guard and Navy.

THE ITALIAN consul general Glampaolo Cutillo and captain of the ship met the Kochi city Police Commissioner M R Ajith Kumar today.

The Police team later accompanied the consul general and the captain to the ship to continue the talks. The police department is waiting for instructions from the Union Ministry to decide on the next course of action, which is expected later today.

The killing of the fishermen had become a full-blown diplomatic issue after the Ministry of External Affairs summoned Italian envoy Giacomo Sanfelice di Monteforte to register a strong protest on Thursday.

Meanwhile SPS Basra, Regional Commander of Coast Guard , Western Region strongly contested the claims of the Italian authorities that the security personnel on board Enrica Lexie had adhered to maritime protocol in dealing with the fishermen.

"There was a significant delay of nearly two and a half hours in reporting the incident on the part of ship to the piracy reporting centre in Mumbai. They had also sent out any signals on an impending attack. They have committed in an error in judgment in shooting at the unarmed fishermen," Basra told reporters here.

The Fishermen were in the high seas to catch their bread and butter but not it’s gone for ever. What compensation and when the family will get is a billionaire question. Our Govt must ensure to get the compensation to the bereaved family on SOS basis to see that the bereaved family is in comfort.