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Apr 24, 2012 at 10:07am IST

Fishermen deaths: Families demand maximum punishment for Italian marines

Thiruvananthapuram: As the Centre continues its flip-flops on the fishermen killing case in the Supreme Court, CNN-IBN caught up with the family of one of the fishermen killed in the incident, Pinku.

Pinku was the only brother of two young girls who are now staring at a bleak future as he was the sole bread-winner of the family.

They watch helplessly as the Centre's flip-flops in the Supreme Court weakens the case against the marines.

Says Abhinaya, one of Pinku's sisters, "Why was our innocent brother killed... without any provocation... my brother was shot down by the marines.. How can they be pardoned and let off?"

Pinku had left his studies to go to the sea, after his parents died seven years ago. His sisters, meanwhile, stayed with an aunt in Kollemcode in Kanyakumari district ever since. He was the sole breadwinner of the family.

Almost two months after Pinku was shot dead by the Italian marines, his family is still struggling to find peace with the loss. The Italian government has now promised to pay them Rs 1 crore as compensation. But Pinku's sisters believe that real justice will happen only when the accused get maximum punishment that they deserve under the Indian law.

Freddy, another of the fishermen who was present on the ill-fated boat at the time of the tragic incident, was lucky to escape death. He recounts the horror of that ill fated day. Freddy says the marines opened fire on the fishermen while they were taking a nap in the evening.

Freddy is yet to receive compensation to repair his boat. He too is concerned the marines may go scot-free.

"We have given the police all the proof that the incident happened in our waters and the case should be fought in our land. Some vested interests are creating this confusion," says Freddy.

The law may takes its course. But the government and the courts must pay heed to these voices.