No rights for Indian fishermen to engage in fishing in the vicinity of Kachchathiv
The Indian Centre has told the Madras High Court that the islet of Katchatheevu in the Palk Strait is a sovereign property of Sri Lanka and the 1974 and 1976 agreements between India and Sri Lanka do not confer any fishing rights on fishermen from India.
In a reply affidavit filed before the court, the Centre said "Under the agreements of 1974 and 1976, Indian fishermen and pilgrims will enjoy access to Katchatheevu and will not be required by Sri Lanka to obtain travel documents or visas for these purposes.
The right of access is not understood to cover fishing rights around the island to Indian fishermen."
The affidavit was in response to a PIL by Fisherman Care which disputed the sovereignty of the island between Sri Lanka and India and said the agreements had clear provisions for allowing Indian fishermen to do fishing around the island.
Disputing the claim, the Centre said the boundary between the two countries had already been clearly demarcated and it would not allow Indian fishermen to cross over and exploit the marine resources in the waters of another country.