The prayers of the two Italian marines to get early release from the Enrica Lexie case may be answered by nature itself. For, the fishing boat St Antony, involved in the shooting incident in which two fishermen were killed, is on the verge of sinking with all the vital evidence of the bullet marks on it. The boat, which is docked at the Neendakara wharf, is buffeted by high tide and water is entering it.
The attempts of the coastal police for the past one week to rescue the boat have met with little success as its hull has got stuck in the mud.
“If attempts during the next couple of days fail, we may file a petition before the court seeking to detach the top portion of the boat, where the bullet-marks were found,” coastal police Circle Inspector R Jayaraj told Express.
The coastal police are learnt to have spent a huge amount in their attempt to recover the vital piece of evidence. Police have also contacted the owner of the boat J Freddy who has offered his help to save it.
The Kollam Chief Judicial Magistrate Court on May 10 had allowed the release of the boat on strict condition, including directions to avoid any tampering with the bullet-marks.
Freddy just took away the net and other fishing gear leaving the boat under the coastal police custody at the wharf. Though the forensic experts have conducted detailed examination of the bullet marks to substantiate that it has been fired upon from the Italian ship, police fear that if the material object is damaged the defence counsel may raise it against the prosecution’s case.
“It may be a setback to the case in which utmost care was taken right from the beginning to maintain transparency in the investigation and legal procedures, considering the diplomatic aspect of the case,” said a top official who is part of the SIT probing the case.