New Delhi: Saying that the United Nations (U.N.) arbitration court directing Indian to release the lone marine Salvatore Girone that was in India's custody, the Congress party on Tuesday alleged that the NDA Government is hand-in-glove with the Italian Government in terms of securing the release of these two marines, while seeking to know what quid pro quo is in place to ensure the release of these two marines.
"The Congress party, like the people of India, firmly believe that justice has been denied to those families. We believe that this NDA Government is hand-in-glove with the Italian Government in terms of securing the release of these two marines; and the question that we would like to ask is what the quid pro quo is that was in place to ensure the release of these two marines to the Italian Government," asked Congress member of Parliament Jyotiraditya Scindia to the NDA government.
Addressing a press conference, Scindia said, Today, there has been very disheartening and debilitating action that has been thrust on over all of us.The UN arbitration court has very clearly ruled against Indian directing us to release the lone marine that was in our custody, Salvatore Girone. This, I believe, is a huge setback for India, and I certainly believe that it's a case of a matter that has been deliberately lost."
"As you all would recall, this matter relating to the marine incident of 2012 where two innoc3ent fishermen off the cost of Kerala had been massacred. After which both the marine had been taken into custody. One had been repatriated back to Italy on grounds of health. And the lone marine who was in the judicial custody in the Italian embassy, today on the basis of this judgment will also be soon sent back to Italy," he added.
Saying that the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague has delivered its judgment, and it is believed it's an open and shut case in favour of India, he added, "But, we believe that the defence was very weekly put up and therefore it was a sad day for justice for not only the people of Kerala, but India at large. And all of this at the hands of the government that talks about 'rashtravaaad' (nationalism); the government that talks about 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai'; the government that talks about upholding India's sovereignty and India's respect on the world's stage."
Stating that multiple questions emanates from this incident, the Congress MP said, "First, going back in time on march 31, 2014 when the prime ministerial aspirant Sri Narendra Modi ji had said in a tweet and I quote: 'Italian Marines mercilessly killed our fishermen, if madam is so patriotic can she tell us in which jail are the marines lodged in.' So, the question now that we have for this government is that indeed if they are so patriotic then why is the case that one marine has been repatriated and the second marine will be escorted by the Government of India back to Italy."
"Second question is, he asked, what are the details of this underpinning with regard to securing the release of these marines?
"Third, why that is the Government of Kerala's case on the issue was not valiantly fought by the Government of India."
"Fourthly, there is a great blur around the statement by the ministry of external affairs that the marines will be tried in India and the Prime Minister of this government gave an assurance to the nation that the trial of these marines will take place under Indian law. That is the question that deserves direct answer in the form of a yes or a no," he said.
Fifthly, he said, the Government of India and the BJP have been very eager to file this arbitration in the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague for an Italian national. "The question the people of India have for this government is that how many arbitrations have been filed for those Indian nationals languishing in foreign jails in the same way hastiness have been shown for filing this arbitration to secure the release of an Italian national in India," he sought to know.
And finally, the fact that jointly now both countries are filing for bail condition relaxation goes out to prove that where India was arguing from a position of strength and was a commandeering position having the Italian marine in its own custody, he said.
"Now, India will be arguing from a position of weakness, where the Italian marine will be requested to return to India if the case then goes on and this is another example of differences between 'kathni' (promise) and 'karni' (delivery), the difference 'niti' (policy) and 'niyat' (intention) and difference between their 'vichar dhara' (mindset) and 'kriyanvayan' (execution)," he added.
Asking the Indian leaders must learn to walk the talk, Scindia said "That is what we expect from the government of India, unfortunately that has not been the case in this incident as well".