Ownership of the island was the subject of controversy until 1974, when the island was administered by both countries under British rule. India has recognized Sri Lanka`s equal property rights. The legality of the transfer was challenged in the Supreme Court of India, as the recognition had not been ratified by the Indian parliament. This recognition of an island, culturally important for fishermen in the Tamil state of Nadu in India, has caused some unrest on the part of Tamil politicians in Nadu, namely that it should be claimed by Indian sovereignty. The island is also important for fishing areas used by fishermen from both countries. The indosi-lakic agreement allows Indian fishermen to fish for katchatheevu and dry their nets on the island. As part of Sri Lanka`s civil war, the agreement has led to many difficulties with the Sri Lankan navy, which has been deployed to prevent arms smuggling by the LTTE rebel group. The island has a Catholic shrine that has attracted followers from both countries.  DMK: the Katchatheevu agreement should be abolished because it is contrary to the constitutional mandate and is not respected by Parliament or the Indian government. 1974 and 1976, the unconstitutional Indo-Sri Lankan agreements of 1974 and 1976 should be annulled. The Indian government should not regard the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) with Sri Lanka as a resolved issue.
What Mr. S.M Krishna describes as solemn is the 1974 agreement. This agreement can be referred to as a semi-printed exchange note. It requires patience and perseverance to understand the problem of Katchatheevu Island. The sea between India and Sri Lanka is divided into three sectors. 1. The sea between Rameswaram and Talaimannar up to Adams BridgSe which form the road to Palk. (Katchatheevu Island is located in this area 11 nautical miles northeast of Rameswaram and 18 nautical miles northwest of Sri Lanka Talaimannar). 2. The Gulf of Mannar, located south of adams Bridge. 3.
The rest without the Palk Road and the Gulf of Mannar the Bay of Bengal. The Indian government and Sri Lanka concluded two agreements in 1974 and 1976 on these three sectors. In 1974, Katchatheevu was ceded to Sri Lanka by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by the Indo-Sri Lanka maritime agreement to settle the Palk Street maritime border with his counterpart Srimavo Bandaranaike. This forced Mr. Karunanidhi, then Prime Minister of Tamil Nadu, to write to Indira Gandhi how the country was historically part of Ramnads Zamindari. “Katchatheevu Iceland belong to Sri Lanka” “What has been given is given” “The agreement is solemn” “It cannot be cancelled” “It is not possible to ensure the safety of fishermen who cross borders” “Sri Lanka is our friendly nation” What is Katchatheevu? It is an uninhabited island off the coast in Palk Street, which originally belonged to The Ramnad Raja. The island is used by fishermen to dry their nets. Under British rule, it was jointly managed by India and Sri Lanka. But at the beginning of the 20th century, Sri Lanka claimed territorial ownership of the latter. In 1974, India ceded it to its southern neighbour. Two years later, India gave up its fishing rights in the region through another agreement. In an emergency, when the Tamil Nadu government was sacked in 1976 without consultation with the National Assembly and Parliament, another agreement was reached to determine the border in the Gulf of Mannar and the Bay of Bengal and fishermen from both countries were excluded from fishing in the waters of other countries.