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S Jaishankar, the minister of external affairs, attacked the Congress party’s historical stance towards Katchatheevu island on Monday, claiming that Jawaharlal Nehru considered it a “nuisance.”

“In May 1961, Jawaharlal Nehru, who was prime minister at the time, made this comment. I attach no importance at all to this little island, he writes, and I would have no qualms about relinquishing our claim to it. I dislike having issues like this open. perpetually and repeatedly being brought up in parliament. For Pandit Nehru, therefore, this was a small island. It didn’t matter. “He considered it an annoyance,” EAM Jaishankar stated during a press briefing.

“Why does everyone keep bringing it up?

“We are discussing the years 1958 and 1960. The primary litigants in the case was to ensure that we should have the fishing rights at the very least. The fishing rights were ceded in 1976, and the island was given away in 1974. The first and most fundamental recurrent (feature) is the disregard for Indian territory displayed by the PMs and the then national government. The truth is, they were indifferent. Jawaharlal Nehru, the prime minister at the time, stated in a note dated May 1961, “I attach no importance at all to this little island and I would have no hesitation in giving up our claim to it.”

Comparing the comments to current worries about territorial integrity, Jaishankar emphasised them.

“I’m jumping ahead to the point at which the Katchatheevu agreement is completed. G. Vishwanathan, a Tamil Nadu lawmaker, claims that this is based on a quotation from official government documents. Even though Diego Garcia is thousands of miles distant from Indian territory, we are concerned about him; we are not concerned about this little island. He added, “The prime minister is referring to Indira Gandhiji.”

The minister continued by highlighting the importance of the matter and stating that the Sri Lankan Navy has been detaining Indian fishermen on a regular basis.

“Over the past 20 years, Sri Lanka has detained 6184 Indian fishermen and seized 1175 Indian fishing boats.”

“Today, boats are still being seized, fishermen are still being held in detention, and Parliament is still discussing this subject. The two parties who brought it up in Parliament are…How do you suppose those that were arrested were released? Giving remarks from Chennai is excellent, but we are the ones who actually carry out the task,” he continued.

It is important to note that fisherman from both Sri Lanka and India have historically exploited the island, which is situated between Rameswaram, India, and Sri Lanka.

In 1974, the “Indo-Sri Lankan Maritime agreement” saw then-prime minister Indira Gandhi recognise Katchatheevu as part of Sri Lanka.

The 1974 Agreement pertaining to historical waters in the Palk Strait and Palk Bay between India and Sri Lanka

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