Updated April 10th, 2024 at 14:45 IST

'I Attach No Importance To This Little Island,' Said Nehru About Katchatheevu Reveals Documents

PM Modi has reignited the long-pending Katchatheevu issue as he slammed the consecutive Congress governments for cedeing Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka.

Reported by: Apoorva Shukla
ormer Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru | Image:PTI/File
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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reignited the long-pending Katchatheevu issue as he slammed the consecutive Congress governments for cedeing Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka, thus compromising with India’s territorial integrity.

Now, an exclusive document from the External Affairs Ministry in possession of Republic reveals that India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had once said that he will have no hesitation in giving up the Katchatheevu island. 

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“I attach no importance at all to this little island and I would have no hesitation in giving up our claim to it,” said Jawaharlal Nehru in May 1961, reveals the MEA document. 

Jawaharlal Nehru wished to resolve the dispute over Katchatheevu, but throught that the time was not right due to internal disturbances in Ceylon, said the document. 

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Image: MEA 

What is Katchatheevu Issue? 

Katchatheevu is an island ceded to Sri Lanka by the Indian government in 1974.  The then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi accepted Katchatheevu as Sri Lankan area under the Indo-Sri Lankan Maritime agreement with her counterpart Srimavo Bandaranaike The move was aimed at resolving the maritime boundaries in the Palk Strait, said observers. 

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Further, another agreement signed in 1976 restricted the fishermen of both the countries from fishing in the other’s exclusive economic zones. Fishermen of the southern states, have been facing difficulty since then. 

PM Revokes Katchatheevu 

The Prime Minister has trained guns at the Congress and DMK for handing over Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka. “Weakening India's unity, integrity and interests has been the Congress' way of working for 75 years and counting,” said the Prime Minister in his attack to the Congress party. 

Furthering his attack on DMK, the PM said that the Stalin-led party has failed to safeguard the interests of people of Tamil Nadu. “Rhetoric aside, DMK has done NOTHING to safeguard Tamil Nadu's interests. New details emerging on Katchatheevu have UNMASKED the DMK's double standards totally,” said the Prime Minister. 

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"The Congress and DMK are family units. They only care that their own sons and daughters rise. They don't care for anyone else. Their callousness on Katchatheevu has harmed the interests of our poor fishermen and fisherwomen in particular," he added.

 

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Published April 1st, 2024 at 12:42 IST