Home INDIA Mukul Rohatgi Says Island No Exchange Of Territory, Was Given to Sri Lanka

Mukul Rohatgi Says Island No Exchange Of Territory, Was Given to Sri Lanka

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Mukul Rohatgi Says Island No Exchange Of Territory, Was Given to Sri Lanka


–>New Delhi:

Amid the huge row over the Lankan island of Katchatheevu, senior lawyer Mukul Rohatgi has said what makes the case different is that there was no give and take, which is the normal practice when it comes to territory. India had given away the island to Sri Lanka without getting anything in return, he underlined in an exclusive interview with WhatsNew2Day today.

The small island near Rameswaram has become a political talking point over the weekend, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi raising the issue at a rally in Meerut and also on social media while visiting the Congress.

Katchatheevu – a disputed territory since the British period – was given to Sri Lanka by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1974 under an agreement with the island.

It had upset Tamil sentiments and resurfaced on the eve of the general elections. Amid the BJP’s efforts to gain political traction in Tamil Nadu, BJP state chief K. Annamalai had filed an RTI query.

In 2014, Mr Rohatgi, then attorney general, had told the Supreme Court that to bring back Katchatheevu, “we had to go to war”. When asked about that statement today, he provided some background.

“Normally we have territorial exchanges. We had exchanges with Pakistan in the past… in 1958-1960 we had some exchanges with Pakistan. Because that was an aftermath of independence and it was understandable,” Rohatgi told WhatsNew2Day.

“I remember a few years ago the current government also had some exchanges with Bangladesh. They were some enclaves. Give and take of territory can happen, but in this case it was just give… The island was handed over to Sri Lanka. Why the island was handed over, what did we get in return, these are questions that Congress should answer,” he added.

His comments also address questions from the opposition about why the government has not taken action on the issue since coming to power in 2014.

Yesterday, Tamil Nadu’s ruling DMK noted that if Prime Minister Modi was keen on Katchatheevu, he could have recaptured that island during his 10 years as president. “Why didn’t he address the Katchatheevu issue?” Senior party leader RS ​​Bharathi said this.

Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge had pointed out that the BJP-led government had extended a similar “friendly gesture” to Bangladesh regarding the exchange of border enclaves.

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