The family of a man who killed himself in Kerala last year claims he was on the fishing boat that came under fire from Italian marines eight years ago when he was 14. The family wants the centre to get Rs 100 crore from Italy days after a UN court said India is entitled to compensation but cannot try the marines for murder.
Prijin A was traumatized after witnessing the firing by the marines from oil tanker “Enrica Lexie”, which killed two fishermen on February 15, 2012 off the Kerala coast, his family has said in a letter to the centre, according to Press Trust of India. He was terrified and suffered minor injuries, said the July 6 letter addressed to the Cabinet Secretary.
He became “very disturbed and subsequently fell into depression” and killed himself in July last year, the family said, alleging that he was not provided the protection that a child of 14 should have been under international laws.
“There was neither medical assistance nor psychological counselling to the child who had witnessed the cold-blooded murder of Ajeesh Pink (also his friend and neighbour) and another fisherman, Jelastine,” the family wrote.
Rs 100 crore was reasonable compensation for the “gross violation of natural justice and international human rights law done against Prijin,” said the letter.
According to the family, Prijin was also a victim of the firing and deserved compensation under the UN Convention on The Law of The Sea.
Prijin’s eight-member family includes his mother, 59, and sisters.
Prijin was part of the crew on the fishing vessel “St Antony”, reportedly hired by its owner Fredy to help fishermen and also assist in cooking.
After the shooting, he was rushed to the shore in another Indian fishing boat and he went home, his family said.
But after that day, he “seemed very disturbed without proper sleep”, used to wake up suddenly and also shout in his sleep.
Fredy, the boat owner, had visited Prijin several times and assured that he would get justice, the family claimed.
The move by the family has come nearly a week after the Hague-headquartered Permanent Court of Arbitration Tribunal ruled that India was entitled to compensation but the marines cannot be prosecuted in India as they had immunity.
The marines had appealed in the top court against the Kerala High Court’s decision that the state can prosecute them. Both are now back in Italy.
With inputs from PTI