Indian island police struggle to get body of American

Indian island police struggle to get body of American

An American national, who was killed allegedly by members of a protected tribe in the Andamans, appeared to be more of an adventure sports enthusiast rather than an evangelist and violated local laws to reach the highly-restricted island, officials said Thursday.

A host of people have taken to social media to determine the reason behind 27-year-old Chau's visit to the island.

That might have been the first that you'd heard about the Sentinelese, an ancient indigenous tribe who violently reject all contact with the outside world, but they have been there for hundreds of years, largely minding their own business. While scholars believe North Sentinelese islanders probably migrated from Africa roughly 50,000 years ago, nearly nothing is known about their lives today, from what language they speak to how many survive. They rely on forest produce and sea resources for survival. It was not his first time in the region - he visited the Andaman islands in 2015 and 2016. The contact found a boat and the fishermen, along with a water sports expert, to help with the expedition.

Police have launched an investigation, Deepak Yadav, a police official in the island chain in the Bay of Bengal, said in a statement late on Tuesday.

The National Commission of Scheduled Tribes (NCST) Thursday termed as "unfortunate" the killing of a U.S. national allegedly by members of a protected and reclusive tribe in the North Sentinel Island and sought a report from the Home Ministry and the Andaman and Nicobar administration on it.

"I still could make it back to the U.S. somehow as it nearly seems like certain death to stay here".

"We do not even know how many of them are there", said Anvita Abbi, who has spent decades studying the tribal languages of India's Andaman and Nicobar islands.

John Allen Chau, 26, of Vancouver Washington, an Instagram adventurer who also led missionary trips overseas, traveled to the Andaman Islands - an Indian territory in the Bay of Bengal - this month to make contact with members of the tiny Sentinelese tribe, police said.

"Please do not be angry at them or at God if I get killed". The body is yet to be recovered.

Its people survived the tsunami of 2004 without any help from the outside world.

William Wilson, President of ORU missions, said: "We are not surprised that John would reach out to these isolated people to share God's love". He interacted with some of the tribespeople, giving them gifts he had prepared such as a football and fish. The police in the island have reportedly arrested the fishermen who took Chau to the south end of the island.

More news: Fight Breaks Out at Pusha T Concert in Toronto, Four Injured

The Andaman Island tribe is one of the last remaining isolated groups in the world.

In 2016, there were reports of a fair-skinned baby, assumed to have been fathered by an outsider, being killed by Jarawa men according to a custom of the tribe. He added, "Do not blame the natives if I am killed". His mother informed the U.S. consulate which in turn alerted the police on 19 November.

"Because if I go there, I am a product of so many antibiotics, so I am carrying so many germs with me".

"I believe he is still alive", she said in a short email to The Post.

"The Indian government has adopted an "'eyes-on and hands-off' policy to ensure that no poachers enter (North Sentinel Island)", according to India's Ministry of Tribal Affairs. According to the police, he had bribed locals, including fishermen, with Rs 25,000 to take him to there.

Chau went on to say that the family should not be angry at the Sentinelese in case he died.

The fishermen stayed back but Chau ventured on to the island. "We also ask for the release of those friends he had in the Andaman Islands".

But even officials don't travel to North Sentinel, where people live as their ancestors did thousands of years ago, and where outsiders are seen with suspicion and attacked.

Pathak said police can't confirm Chau's cause of death until his body is recovered.

Tribespeople killed two Indian fishermen who were fishing illegally off the island in 2006 when their boat broke loose and drifted onto the shore. The fishermen took John to North Sentinel Island pretending that he was part of the fishing party to evade the patrolling teams of Police, Coast Guard and Navy.

Related Articles