Stalin appeals to retrieve gifted island from Sri Lanka

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With Prime Minister Narendra Modi on stage, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin yesterday (26) urged him to retrieve Katchatheevu Island which was gifted to Sri Lanka in 1974 in a bid to end the decade-long fishermen issue between the two neighboring nations.

“When PM came here to Tamil Nadu, I appeal for a few things. We ask PM to get back the Katchatheevu Island from (Sri Lanka) to get our fishermen to fish freely in our sea,” Chief Minister Stalin said during an event in Chennai.

Katchatheevu is a 163-acre uninhabited island administered by Sri Lanka and was a disputed territory claimed by India until 1976.

It has been traditionally used by both Sri Lankan Tamil and Indian fishermen and in 1974, then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi ceded Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka under the “Indo-Sri Lankan Maritime agreement” aimed at resolving the maritime boundaries in the Palk Strait.

Commenting on the matter, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) slammed the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister for bringing up several ongoing issues while sharing the stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Chennai.

In a series of tweets, Tamil Nadu BJP Chief K Annamalai vehemently criticised Stalin for it.