Citizens' Issues
Four Italian marines refuse to come to India as witness

The four marines, were on-board Italian vessel ‘Enrica Lexie’ and present at the spot when their colleagues Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen

Four marines from Italy, who were witness to the killing of fishermen off Kerala coast allegedly by two of their colleagues, have refused to come to India for deposing as witness. This will further delay the case.


The four marines, who were summoned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), were onboard Italian vessel ‘Enrica Lexie’ and were present at the spot when their colleagues Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone allegedly shot dead two fishermen on 15 February 2012.


The four witnesses conveyed that they were not ready to come to India for deposition as witness following summons from the NIA, which is probing the case, official sources said.


The witnesses said that either they were ready for appearance through video conferencing, or a team of NIA should visit Italy for questioning them or the investigators can send them written questions, which they would reply.


However, none of the proposals was acceptable to the NIA investigators as Italy was bound to cooperate with India as per an agreement between Rome and New Delhi.


Faced with the four witnesses’ refusal to come to India, the Home Ministry has sought opinion of the Law Ministry on the future course of action.


The refusal of the Italian witnesses to come to India is bound to delay the trial against the two Italian marines, who have been at the Italian Embassy since their arrival following a diplomatic dustup.


Italy had initially gone back on its promise to return the marines so that they can stand trial in India but later relented.


The two have been slapped with murder charges for gunning down two fishermen, Ajesh Binki and Jelestine.


Narendra Dabholkar, anti-superstition activist, shot dead in Pune

Two unknown assailants shot dead Narendra Dabholkar, the founder-president of Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti

Two unknown assailants shot Pune-based Narendra Dabholkar, who was in the forefront of a campaign to persuade Maharashtra government to pass an anti-superstition and black magic bill, on Tuesday morning.


Dabholkar spearheaded the 'Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti' (Anti-Superstition movement) to change social mindsets and inculcate scientific temper. He was found in a pool of blood at Omkareshwar bridge in Pune. He succumbed to bullet injuries in the Sassoon Hospital.


A staunch fighter for the cause of eradication of inhuman rituals and superstitions, Dabholkar was also in the forefront of the campaign to persuade Maharashtra government to pass an anti-superstition and black magic bill - opposed by certain sections of Warkari sect - in the state legislature.


All parties except Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena had supported the bill. Dahbolkar had said that chief minister Prithviraj Chavan has failed to discuss Anti-Jaadu Tona Bill (anti-back magic bill) and Chavan has betrayed all progressive people in the state. "This could be the only bill which has figured in the list of business for last seven sessions but never came up for discussion. Chavan had announced, in his press conference, before the monsoon session that this bill will be passed in the session," Dabholkar had said.


Gulabrao Pol, Police Commissioner of Pune while confirmed Dabholkar's death, said that police were investigating the motive but no suspects have so far been identified.


Dabholkar was also editor of 'Sadhana', a magazine founded by the late Sane Guruji. Sadhana is devoted to propagation of progressive thought.



Anil Agashe

4 years ago

A very sad day indeed. Maharashtra has great tradition of social reformists. Phule, Ambedkar, Agarkar, Sawarkar, Karve, Ranade and Shahu Maharaj to name a few. They all had opposition to their views. All reformists face opposition. Dabholkar faced it all his life but stood firm on his convictions.
He was a family friend for us and our entire family supported him and his work. We felicitated him by conferring a award that we give every year from a Trust that we have founded in memory of our Grand parents a few years back.
A great loss to the society and the reformist movement. We have to carry on with his work in our own way as a mark of respect for the man!

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