The Director-General of shipping has issued letter permitting the release of Italian flagged container, the Enrica Lexie, involved in the shooting of two Indian fishermen off the Kollam coast.
A DG shipping official informed to the reporters that subsequently, the ship is likely to leave Kochi next week.
Sailing out of Kochi may not be a easy task for them as the State Government has opposed the release of the vessel while responding to the petition filed before the Kerala High Court by James Mackintosh and Co Private Limited, the ship's agents and Dolfin Tanker's, the ship's owners.
Investigators however expressed their concern that the DG's clearance may strengthen the Italian company's bid to get an early release of Enrica Lexie. Police sources also pointed out that this would also eventually disappoint the two jailed marines who had shot Valentine Jelestine and Ajeesh on february 15th.
A senior officer said that the Mercantile Marine Department (MMD) is not exploring the possibility of recovering deleted data from the ship's voyage data recorder. He added that and if the ship leaves Kochi, they wil never be able to bring it back for further probe.
The shipping official said the investigation report would take a few more weeks for the completion as interrogation of the arrested marines is still pending. He said the MMD did not cover vital evidences on board the vessel.
News reported by AR for News Vision online news paper