New Delhi

India puts hold on new ambassador to Rome taking position

Diplomatic tension high over marines accused of homicide

India puts hold on new ambassador to Rome taking position

(see related stories) New Delhi, March 14 - India on Thursday put on hold the procedure for its new ambassador to Rome to take up his position, amid rising tension over Italy's decision not to send two marines accused of killing two Indian fisherman back after they came home to vote, the PTI agency said. The new ambassador, Basant Kumar Gupta, was scheduled to leave for Rome on Friday. Relations with Italy are being reviewed by India because of the issue, the Indian foreign ministry has said. The ministry has also summoned the EU's ambassador to New Delhi to discuss the case. Earlier on Thursday, India's Supreme Court told the Italian ambassador to New Delhi Daniele Mancini he was not to leave the country. The marines - Massimiliano Lattore and Salvatore Girone - have been charged with homicide for allegedly killing two fishermen off the Kerala coast in February 2012 in an anti-piracy operation. Italy claims it has jurisdiction for the case as the incident took place in international waters. They pair, who were on bail but with an obligation to stay in India, were allowed to return to Italy for four weeks for the election. The marines returned to India after being granted leave to return for the Christmas holidays.

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