The two Italian marines, nabbed for allegedly killing two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast two years ago, could not be prosecuted under the stringent Suppression of Unlawful Act (SUA), Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has said.
Addressing media persons after inaugurating the BSF campus at Chekiad near Nadapuram in the district on Wednesday, Shinde added that SUA, meant for maintaining safety of maritime navigation, could be used only in cases related to terrorist activities. “Let the court decide on which Act to be invoked against them in this case. That incident does not come under terrorist activity,” he said.
On the Maoist threat in the country, Union Home Minister claimed that Maoist activities all over the country were coming down.
“The Union Government is very serious on the anti-national activities. The journals published by ultra Leftists groups themselves show the decline of their activities in all parts of the country,” he added.
Clarifying his remarks on crushing the elements of media for spreading false propaganda against the Congress, Shinde said the allegation of the CPM and other parties that the comments were part of the dictatorial agenda of the Congress was wrong. “My comments were on social media. It were the remarks of a person who has 40 years of experience in politics and has good relationship with media, which were misinterpreted,” he added.
In reply to a query, Shinde claimed that the Centre’s move to bring ordinances on two anti-corruption bills was not anti-democratic. “Sonia and Rahul had promised to pass these bills in the Parliament. However, unfortunately, the Lok Sabha was disrupted continuously on the issue of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. We will try our level best to implement these bills,” he said.
‘Dropping SUA Charges a Way Forward’
Admitting that relations with Italy have been ‘complicated’, Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh hoped that the dropping of charges under the anti-piracy SUA law against the two Italian marines would be the ‘way forward’ and lead to expeditious resolution under the Indian legal process. “The marines issue has complicated our relations with Italy. However, the fact that the charges under SUA have been dropped is an indication that there is a way forward and we are looking to resolve the matter as per our legal and judicial process as expeditiously as possible,” she said.