Strongly reiterating its stand on Katchatheevu, a policy note of the State Fisheries Department tabled in the Legislative Assembly on Monday stated that only restoration of India’s sovereignty over the islet would lead to a permanent solution to the problems faced by the Tamil Nadu fishermen.
Moving the demand for grants for his department, fisheries minister D Jayakumar recalled the resolutions passed in the Assembly on the issue and the Tamil Nadu government impleading itself in the writ petition filed by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in her individual capacity in the Supreme court, questioning the legal validity of the 1974 and 1976 Indo-Sri Lankan agreements, in the light of the Apex court judgments in Berubari case that any agreement on the cession of Indian territory to another country should be ratified by Parliament through an amendment of the Constitution.
“This government reiterates its consistent stand that a permanent solution to this vexatious problem faced by our fishermen will be possible only by restoring India’s sovereignty over Katchatheevu, thereby restoring their rights to fish in their traditional waters,” the policy note stated.
Jayakumar also pointed that the Chief Minister in her memorandums submitted to the Prime Minister in June 2014, August 2015 and June 14 this year had reiterated the need for abrogation of the 1974 and 1976 agreements and take steps for retrieving Katchatheevu to permanently restore the traditional fishing rights of the fishermen.
Meanwhile, hit songs from films of the late Chief Minister and AIADMK founder M.G. Ramachandran that a ruling party member quoted, led to a face off with the DMK in the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Monday. Ruling party members came to his defence, asserting that MGR songs were thought-provoking and eternal.
Also, Assembly on Monday witnessed a war of words between ruling AIADMK and main opposition DMK on several issues, including law and order, Tsunami relief and a plea to include fishermen under marine tribes category in the Scheduled Tribe quota, which saw brief stalling of proceedings.