Italian marines will be tried as per law of land: Defence minister

KOCHI: Defence minister A K Antony said that the government will not make any compromises in the Italian marines case

24th Feb 2014


Italian marines will be tried as per law of land: Defence minister


KOCHI: Defence minister A K Antony said that the government will not make any compromises in the Italian marines case. Refuting news reports that the Union government may not be invoking SUA (The Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf) against Italian marines, Antony said that the case would be tried as per Indian laws.

He said that the case is handled by home and external affairs ministries and so he was unaware of the 'day-to-day progress of the case'. "We will go ahead with trying them as per Indian laws. There will not be any compromise," Antony said. He said that India had asked various international agencies like International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to direct ships passing through Indian waters to take adequate precautions not to affect the safety of fishing boats there.

For bringing the entire coast of the country under surveillance, 38 more static coastal radars will be installed. "In the first phase, 46 radars had been installed across the country. Of this, 36 are in the mainland while six and four were installed off Andaman islands and Lakshadweep respectively," he said. "The second phase of the project will soon be rolled out," Antony said. Installation of one of the radars in Andaman Islands was cancelled due to protest from environmentalists. "If the radar station is set up, it will affect birds belonging to extinct species. As environmentalists came up with protest, we decided not to install the radar there. We don't want to confront environmentalist," he said.

He said that he was fully satisfied with his tenure as defence minister. "Given the long pending demands like "one rank-one pension" could be implemented, I am fully satisfied," he said.
 

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