The new turns in the case of the killing of two Indian fishermen off Kollam coast on February 15, 2012 – which drive the Indo-Italian relationship deeper into new troubles – do not bother families of the victims.
``We have already forgiven the marines. I won't get back my husband if they are hanged. They shot dead my husband and his colleague mistaking them for Somali pirates,'' said Doramma, 40, wife of Valentine Jelestine , 45, one of the victims.
The two sisters of Ajesh Binki, 25, the other victim, living at Kuzhithurai, a nondescript Tamil Nadu coastal village nearly 150km from here, are not aware of the international impact of the incident. The siblings, the only legal heirs of Binki, too have pardoned the Italians.
For their forgiveness, Italy has paid a price. Doramma got Rs one crore and her two children Rs 50 lakh each.
This apart, Doramma, a resident of Kollam in Kerala, has been offered a job of a peon at the fisheries department by the Kerala Government to keep Christian fishermen community, a major vote bank, in good humour.
Binki's sisters were also paid Rs one crore each.
The deal was negotiated by the Rome-controlled Kerala Latin Church to which the victims and their families belong.
It is yet doubtful whether the stance of the families is the true reflection of their mind. People in their locality say since the Church has a great influence on the families in the community, they may be jut parroting the Church's script. From day one, the Church, perhaps under the pressure from Rome, has been trying for the safe exit of the marines from India. To pave the way for it, the hefty (by Indian standard) compensation has been paid.
But the owner of the ill-fated fishing boat which was badly damaged in the reckless firing by marine has not been paid any compensation by Italy despite his repeated request.
Quite unexpectedly the case again acquired a political tone in the state. The newly-appointed Pradesh Congress Committee chief VM Sudheeran, a highly revered Congress leader, demanded that the marines be prosecuted under Suppression of Unlawful Acts (SUA) which stipulates that anyone causing death to any person shall be punished with death.