NEW DELHI, March 13 (Xinhua) -- India Wednesday warned Italy of "consequences on bilateral ties" if it didn't send back two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen off the coast of the southern state of Kerala in February last year.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that Italy has violated "every rule of diplomatic discourse" and the government would pursue diplomatic channels to bring the two naval guards back to India where they are facing trial for shooting dead the two Indian fishermen from on board an Italian merchant vessel which the duo were guarding in February 2012.
"They have violated every rule of diplomatic discourse and call into question solemn commitments given by an accredited representative of a government. If they do not keep their word there will be consequences for our relations with Italy," the Indian prime minister told the Parliament in a firm voice.
Singh's statement came a day after he termed as "unacceptable" Rome's refusal to send back the naval guards -- Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone -- to India from Italy where the duo had gone to cast their vote in last month's elections after getting special permission from India's Supreme Court.
The two Italian marines have been accused of killing of the two Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala in February last year, after allegedly mistaking them for pirates. They were arrested and later released on bail awaiting trial at a special court in the national capital to be set up on orders of Supreme Court.
The incident has sparked a diplomatic row between India and Italy. While Italy insists the incident happened in international waters and so the marines be tried according to global maritime law, India says the firing took place in its territorial waters.