US citizen killed in Andaman and Nicobar islands: Police fail to retrieve body after spotting armed tribals on shore

By: | Published: November 26, 2018 3:58 PM

While several questions have arisen, the picturesque islands have emerged as one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the country. Over 4 lakh tourists, including 11,818 foreigners, have visted the archipelago this year till October. Islands have received 4,87,229 tourists, including 15,310 foreigners in 2017.

John Allen Chau was killed in the North Sentinel Island

A fresh expedition to retrieve the body of 27-year-old US citizen who was allegedly killed by highly protected tribes in the North Sentinel Island of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands failed to deliver results after the team spotted armed tribals on the shore. John Allen Chau was killed in the North Sentinel Island and his body is yet to be retrieved despite several attempts by the Andaman police.

“The fresh expedition to North Sentinel Island was undertaken, our DGP as present in the expedition. The team spotted the armed tribals. It is their island and we saw them,” Vijay Singh, PRO Police said.

While several questions have arisen, the picturesque islands have emerged as one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the country. Over 4 lakh tourists, including 11,818 foreigners, have visted the archipelago this year till October. Islands have received 4,87,229 tourists, including 15,310 foreigners in 2017.

The protected island is one of 29 islands in Andamans where foreigners had to take special permission — the Restricted Area Permit (RAP) — before being allowed to visit them. Even though one filter (RAP) was withdrawn in June this year, any tourist is required to take permission from the forest department and the administration of the island as it is protected under two other acts — protection of aboriginal people and forest acts, a home ministry official said.

Seven persons, including five fishermen, allegedly took Chau near the North Sentinel Island. They were arrested. During the interrogation, police found that these fishermen often ventured and strayed into these waters, either to fish or at the request of foreign tourists who wanted to take photographs of the protected tribes.

General secretary of the Fishermen Welfare Association M Raju admitted that some foreign tourists have been using them to venture into protected areas. Raju said some foreigners take advantage of this situation and fishermen are lured by easy money. He also pointed out that fishermen are unaware of restricted areas as there are no boundaries or walls in the sea.

Various Andamanese people maintain their separated existence through diversifying into distinct linguistic, cultural and territorial groups. The indigenous people of Andamans first came into contact with the outside world in the 1850s. The local people are: Great Andamanese, who collectively represented at least 10 distinct subgroups and languages, including the Jarawa: the jungle (or Rutland Jarawa); the Onge; and the Sentinelese (the most isolated of all the groups). The indigenous peoples of the Nicobars (unrelated to the Andamanese) have a similarly isolated and lengthy association with the islands. There are two main groups: the Nicobarese, or Nicobari living throughout many of the islands; and the Shompen, restricted to the interior of Great Nicobar.

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