Katchatheevu Not More Than A ‘rock’ For Nehru And Indira: Jaishankar Slams Congress

Katchatheevu not more than a ‘rock’ for Nehru and Indira: Jaishankar slams Congress

New Delhi, April 1 : External Affairs Minister (EAM) S.Jaishankar, on Monday, hit out at former Prime Ministers Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi for “giving away” Katchatheevu island to neighbouring nation, and said that public has a right to know what transpired during the then Congress regimes.

 Katchatheevu Not More Than A ‘rock’ For Nehru And Indira: Jaishankar Slams C-TeluguStop.com

The Union Minister asserted that it is important to know how the island was ‘given away’, why the public has been misled for the past decades, and who is actually accountable for the situation as this is a matter that involves national security.

The row over Katchatheevu has triggered a war of words between parties, with BJP training guns at the Congress for “compromising” nation’s boundaries while the latter describing it as a friendly agreement between India and Sri Lanka.

Addressing a press conference, the EAM gave a deep insight into the dispute and also explained how the long-standing dispute happened and continues to remain a thorn in two nation’s ties.

“In 1974, India and Sri Lanka drew a maritime boundary and Katchatheevu island went to the Sri lankan side.

This agreement had three other clauses: First, each country shall have exclusive sovereignty, jurisdiction and control over the waters; second, Indian fishermen will continue to access Katchatheevu without having to obtain travel documents; Third, vessels of India and Sri Lanka will enjoy in each other’s waters as they traditionally have,” he told the press.

He further informed that two years later, another agreement was signed between the two countries.

This time, India proposed the following: “With the establishment of Exclusive Economic Zones by the two countries, India and Sri Lanka will exercise sovereign rights on the living and non-living resources in their respective zones.The fishing vessels and fishermen of India shall not engage in the historic waters, the territorial sea and the exclusive zone of Sri lanka.”

So, 1974, assurance is given.By 1976, an agreement is concluded that actually takes away this assurance, Jaishankar pointed out.

After the 1976 agreement concluded, there evolved a position of the government, the consequence of which has been that 6,184 India fishermen have been detained over a thousand vessels confiscated, he further said.

The EAM further pointed out the “dismissive” attitude of the Congress party and said that then Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi described Katchatheevu as “small island” and a “rock” respectively.

He also quoted the example of Aksai Chin and the ignorant attitude of the erstwhile leadership about it.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had tweeted: “Eye opening and startling! New facts reveal how Congress callously gave away #Katchatheevu.This has angered every Indian and reaffirmed in people’s minds- we can’t ever trust Congress! Weakening India’s unity, integrity and interests has been Congress’ way of working for 75 years and counting (sic).”

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