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No question of compromise in Italian Marines case: AK Antony

Sunday, 23 February 2014 - 4:38pm IST | Agency: PTI

Defence Minister AK Antony today said there was no question of any compromise with regard to the case relating to the two Italian marines who had allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen off Kerala coast in February 2012. "Government policy is that as per Indian rules the case will go ahead. There will be no compromise. We are not going back in any way in the case. We are going ahead with the case as per Indian laws," he told reporters here.

The minister was replying to a query on whether there was a softening of India's stand on the issue after the Law Ministry concurred with the External Affairs Ministry on the non-applicablity of the anti-piracy law.

The Law Ministry is of the view that the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (SUA) should not apply in the case of the two marines. Antony said the Home Ministry and the Ministry of External Affairs are handling the matter. 

On criticism against the Indian Navy over recent mishaps, including the Sindhurakshak tragedy, Antony said all such incidents have been taken seriously. He said he considers his ministry as a family. "In a family we discuss every issue. It doesn't mean I am pulling up anybody. In the Army, Navy and Airforce we consider safety of operations. Sometimes accients happen. But for me, even one incident cannot be ignored. All incidents we take seriously." He said that the Navy has ordered a court of enquiry, based on which corrective action was being taken. "There is no alarming situation. But at the same time, Indian Navy is a growing organisation. Indian military is a growing military and one of the best in the world," he said.

India had entered into defence cooperation agreements with 48 countries, including in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and ASEAN and they were all keen for closer cooperation with India, he said, adding many countries want joint excercises with India.


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