Strategic Loss: Bharat’s Surrender of Katchatheevu Island to Sri Lanka Under Indira Gandhi

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GG News Bureau
New Delhi, 2nd April.
The Right to Information Act has allowed Tamil Nadu BJP President Annamalai to divulge some extremely startling information. The strategically significant island that separates Sri Lanka from Bharat was given to Sri Lanka in 1974 by then-prime minister Indira Gandhi. The politics surrounding the Lok Sabha elections have become more intense due to the issue of ceding Kachchativu island to Sri Lanka, particularly in Tamil Nadu. After information about the matter surfaced in an RTI, the topic is making headlines once more. The island known as Katchatheevu is currently governed by Sri Lanka, and a church has been constructed there.

In the Indian Ocean, halfway between Sri Lanka and the southern tip of Bharat is Kachativu Island. Despite being uninhabitable due to volcanic eruptions, the island retains its strategic significance. At the moment, Sri Lanka has total control over it. This island has a church and is a prime location for fishermen to fish.

Its 20 kilometers away from Bharat

This island spans 1.9 square kilometers and is located 20 kilometers from Bharat, according to documents obtained under the Right to Information Act. This island was claimed by Sri Lanka following the independence of Bharat. The island was the site of military drills by the Ceylon Navy in 1955. The Indian Navy then carried out maneuvers here as well.

 

At a Parliamentary session, Former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru declared, “We will not hesitate to give up our claim to this island. I do not want the issue of this island to be discussed in the Parliament again.” A report in this regard had been prepared by YD Gundevia, the Commonwealth Secretary at the time. The Advisory Committee used this report as background in 1968.

Up until the 17th century, King Ramnad of Madurai ruled over the island. Afterwards, when Bharat was ruled by the British, the island became part of the Madras Presidency. Fishermen used this island. There has always been friction between the two nations over this island. Following this, in 1974 there were meetings between the two nations.

Two meetings were held, one in New Delhi and the other in Colombo. Subsequently, Indira Gandhi gave this island to Sri Lanka.

Bharat also provided numerous pieces of evidence supporting its claim to the island during these meetings. King Namnad’s rights were also mentioned. Sri Lanka was unable to make any such assertions. The Foreign Secretary asserted that Sri Lanka’s claim is nonetheless compelling in spite of this. It seems that this island is a part of Jaffnapatnam. To enable fishermen to utilize the island for drying their nets, a deal was reached to take control of it. Aside from this, Bharatiyas do not need a visa to enter the churches on the island. In this context, a contract was signed in 1976. Meanwhile, when Sri Lanka asserted that fishing boats from Bharat could not enter Sri Lanka’s Exclusive Economic Zone, a significant controversy broke out.

Moreover, Karunanidhi had objected

Karunanidhi, the Chief Minister at the time, had also been against giving the island to Sri Lanka. The idea to combine the island with Bharat was also approved by the Tamil Nadu Assembly in 1991. In 2008, Jayalalitha informed the Supreme Court of how her island was ceded by the Bharatiya government to a foreign nation without a constitutional amendment. In the Assembly in 2011, Jayalalitha had also approved a resolution.

Nonetheless, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi stated in 2014 that the island has been given to Sri Lanka and that if it needs to be taken, there is only one course of action: war.

Congress is someone we can never trust: Prime Minister Modi

Prime Minister Modi attacked Congress in this regard, claiming that it is untrustworthy. On social media, the Prime Minister expressed how shocking and eye-opening this is. Congress recklessly abandoned Katchatheevu, as evidenced by new facts. This has infuriated every Bharatiya, and the belief that we can never trust Congress has been cemented into people’s minds! The Congress has spent the last 75 years undermining Bharat’s unity, integrity and interests. Following the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar shared his thoughts on the matter. He asserts that it is critical that people are aware of the whole story of our past. This fact-based article ought to worry every citizen.

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