Jayalalithaa approaches SC on Kachatheevu issue

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New Delhi, Aug 7 (UNI) Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today approached the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Union government and state of Tamil Nadu to take steps to retrieve Kachatheevu, an island off Rameswaram coast from Sri Lanka.

It is a small barren uninhabited island measuring 285 acres in Palk Strait of Rameswaram, a part of district Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu.

It was ceded to Sri Lanka under Indo-Sri Lanka maritime agreement 1974. On July 23, 1974, the then Foreign Minister late Swaran Singh made a statement in Parliament that the claim of Sri Lanka on the island has been recognised by India.

AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa in her petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India has also prayed to the court to direct Union government to get revived the rights of Indian fishermen and Indian fishing vessels to enter and to do fishing activity in the island.

The petitioner has also sought declaration from the apex court to declare Indo-Sri Lanka maritime agreement dated June 26, 1974 as unconstitutional and non-est.

Prior to the agreement, fishermen, both from India and Sri Lanka, used to earn their livlihood from the island. Sri Lanka started claiming that the island belongs to that country.

Jayalalithaa has, however, claimed both historically and geographically Kachatheevu is part of India.

UNI SC AE RP VC1650

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