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Italy probes why ship docked in India

Rome(IANS): Authorities here are probing why an Italian ship ignored the Italian Navy’s objections and docked in Kerala leading to the arrest of two Marines over the killing of two Indian fishermen.

A colonel is collecting evidence from military headquarters and the shipping company to ascertain if they sent Enrica Lexie into Kochi harbour in Kerala, Italian media reported.

The Italian Navy had reportedly objected to Enrica Lexie moving into Indian waters and the disembarcation of its military personnel on board, reported Corriere della Sera website.

Indian fishermen Ajesh Binki and Gelastine were allegedly mistaken for pirates and shot dead by the Marines Feb 15 off the coast of Kerala. Latorre Massimillano and Salvatore Girone were arrested by Kerala Police on murder charges.

Italy insists that the ship was in international waters when the incident took place and that the Marines cannot be tried in India. New Delhi is not ready to accept either argument. The arrests have sparked a major row between Rome and New Delhi.

The media report said that according to established procedure, decisions on board the ship are taken by the captain in agreement with the shipping company. But in an emergency, action is decided with the military authorities and the Italian government.

The investigation will find out if the shipping firm took the decision to leave international waters and with whom they negotiated.

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