The copies of a classified agreement signed between India and Seychelles to develop military facilities and station Indian security forces on Assumption Island have been leaked online, The Wire reported on Thursday.
On March 6, an anonymous user uploaded a video on YouTube, along with links to three Google Drive folders that contained the entire text of the 2018 revised agreement, the initial pact that was signed in 2015 and a “secret side letter” that the Seychelles government wrote to India in 2015. The video, which alleged that the Seychelles government had “sold off” the island to India to build a military base, also includes photographs of pages of the classified Detailed Project Report. The document, which India had commissioned and shared with the Seychelles government, contains drawings for the airfield and other security installations.
The documents were leaked, presumably by an insider in the Seychelles government, a day before the island nation’s President Danny Faure called on legislators in the Parliament to ratify the revised agreement with India, the Seychelles News Agency reported. “Assumption belongs to Seychelles and Seychellois,” Faure had said in his address. “Land on Assumption has not been sold or leased to the government of India.”
Former Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar had visited the island nation in January to sign the renegotiated agreement. The pact was first announced during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit in 2015. The deal had then faced hurdles and Jaishankar had to make an unannounced visit to Seychelles in October 2017 to resolve the differences.