Cong displayed ‘indifference’ about Katchatheevu Island; EAM slams former PMs

New Delhi, Apr 1 (UNI) The political row over the Katchatheevu island has intensified as External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Monday slammed former Prime Ministers from the Congress party as they had displayed “indifference” about Katchatheevu Island and gave away Indian fishermen’s rights despite legal views to the contrary.

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters in New Delhi, Jaishankar said “One of the most basic aspects is the indifference shown by the then central government and the PMs about the territory of India… The fact is, they simply did not care.”.

The remarks by the External Affairs Minister came shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi targeted the DMK over the Katchatheevu Island issue, alleging the ruling party of Tamil Nadu did nothing to safeguard the state’s interests.

“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,” PM Modi wrote on X.

Quoting Jawaharlal Nehru, S. Jaishankar said, “I attach no importance at all to this little island, and I would have no hesitation in giving up our claim to it. I do not like matters like this pending indefinitely and being raised again and again in parliament.”.

“This view continued on to Indira Gandhi as well,” Jaishankar added. “This dismissive attitude…was the historic Congress attitude towards Katchatheevu, he said.

Talking about the relevance of Katchatheevu, the External Affairs Minister said, “In the last 20 years, 6184 Indian fishermen have been detained by Sri Lanka, and 1175 Indian fishing vessels have been seized, detained, or apprehended by Sri Lanka.”

“This is not an issue that has suddenly surfaced. This is a live issue. Two parties, the Congress and the DMK, have approached this matter as though they have no responsibility for it,” Jaishankar said.

“It is the Narendra Modi government that has been working to ensure that the Indian fishermen are released, he said, adding, We have to find a solution. We have to sit down and work it out with the Sri Lankan government,” the EAM said.

He further added, “We know who this did, how the situation has arisen, and what we don’t know is who hid it… We believe that the public has the right to know how this situation came up.”.

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