In a bid to put an end to frequent attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen by Sri Lankan navy, the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly on Friday unanimously adopted a resolution urging the Centre to retrieve Kachchativu island to Sri Lanka under a 1974 agreement signed between India and Sri Lanka. Tamil Nadu fishermen say they cross the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) to fish in the waters of the Kachchativu island as part of a traditional norm and hence get attacked by the Sri Lankan navy. The Lankan navy personnel, however, accuse the fishermen of going beyond the island and closer to the country’s borders to fish.
The resolution, moved by the chief minister J Jayalalithaa, drew the attention of the House to a Supreme Court order in 1960 in the Berubari case, wherein it was stated that any agreement on cession of Indian territory to another nation need to be ratified by both Houses of Parliament through an amendment of the Constitution. “Going by the SC verdict, ceding of Kachchativu is not valid,” the resolution said, while pointing out the fishing rights and livelihood concerns of Indian fishermen.