Owner of Kerala fishing boat recounts firing horror
The owner of the fishing boat that came under fire from the Italian ship Enrica Lexie, has described the events of 15 February that culminated in them losing two crew members.
The owner of the fishing boat that came under fire from the Italian ship Enrica Lexie, has described the events of 15 February that culminated in them losing two crew members. J Freddy told the Indian Expressthat he had been asleep when the firing had started.
“Jelestine (one of the two crew members who were killed) took control of the boat. The last thing I asked Jelestine was whether any boat was coming in our lane. Half-an-hour later, the sound of firing woke me up. I saw Jelestine’s hands slowly leaving the steering wheel. Blood was flowing from his nose and ears,” he told the newspaper.
“I saw a ship 250 to 300 metres from the boat,” he says, adding that he immediately alerted the rest of his team that the “ship men are firing... lie down”.
Freddy took control of the boat, and steered it away in the opposite direction. “There was a shower of bullets. I heard a scream from the rear of the boat. I drove away at maximum speed, only stopping two nautical miles away. We then went to the back of the boat, where we saw Pinku, with blood gushing out from his chest".
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Welcoming Italy's decision to send back marines charged with the killing of two fishermen, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Friday said the development clearly established the fact that no country can question the sovereignty of India.
Unless the Indian government responds with vigour, even risking a diplomatic standoff with Italy, the suspicion that this is part of a "political deal" to sabotage two trials - of the Italian marines in India and of the AgustaWestland deal in Italy - will be validated.