Dr. Manmohan Singh, Mario Monti
The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh meeting the Prime Minister of Italy, Mr. Mario Monti, on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit, in Seoul on March 26, 2012.PIB

The Italian government is fighting hard to defend the two marines who are accused of killing unarmed fishermen in Kerala. India, on the other hand, is clueless about its prisoners lodged in Italian jails.

According to The Times of India, 109 Indian prisoners are reportedly locked up in Italian jails for which the India has done very little to help them. The government is not even aware of the charges the Indian nationals were arrested for and when they will be released.

TOI reported that in February 2010 a question was raised in the Rajya Sabha about the prisoners to which the government replied saying the Italian government maintains privacy about inmates due to which the government has no information about their cases.

There hasn't been any change in the status quo as the total number of prisoners lodged in Italy is unchanged, according to data given by external affairs minister Salman Khursheed in November.

That means that no Indian prisoners were released in the last two years or that the government has not taken any further action on the matter.

"It's surprising the way our government plays its hand. It was evident in the way it allowed itself to be taken in by the Italians in the marines case and now it seems to have given up on its own citizens too because the Italians refuse to share information," a Delhi-based lawyer Avi Singh told TOI. "The least it can do is to have the Indian embassy in Italy find out details and pursue the cases."

Read the complete report of The Times of India here.  

Kerala police arrested Italian sailors Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone for shooting two fishermen off the Kerala coast on 15 February, 2012. The incident has set off a serious diplomatic row between the two countries.

Last month, Supreme Court allowed them to visit their country to exercise their right to vote after Italian ambassador Daniele Mancini had given a guarantee to send them back. But now Italian government announced that it will not send back its marines to India, prompting fury in India.