American believed to have been killed by isolated tribe on Indian island

American believed to have been killed by isolated tribe on Indian island

American believed to have been killed by isolated tribe on Indian island

NEW DELHI-An American is believed to have been killed by an isolated Indian island tribe known to fire at outsiders with bows and arrows, police said on November 21.

The American was identified as 27-year-old John Allen Chau.

Between 1970-96, Indian authorities and even a National Geographic documentary team attempted trips to the North Sentinel island to befriend the tribe.

Chau was transported to the Andaman Islands by fishermen but they fled after he was attacked. A murder case has been registered.

According to the report, Chau had failed to reach the island on 14 November.

His body was recovered the following day by the fishermen on their return.

A Christian missionary website called the Joshua Project lists the Sentinelese as "0.00% Christian" and urges followers to "Pray that the Indian Government will allow Christians to earn the trust of the Sentinelese people, and that they will be permitted to live among them".

"The British colonial occupation of the Andaman Islands decimated the tribes living there, wiping out thousands of tribespeople, and only a fraction of the original population now survives".

The Sentinelese, who number between 50 to 150, are known to be hostile to outsiders, shunning contact with the outside world. In a major step earlier this year, the government excluded this island and 28 others in the Union Territory from the Restricted Area Permit (RAP) regime till December 31, 2022. Till recently, the North Sentinel Island was out of bounds for visitors.

As any contact with the isolated tribe is forbidden, Mr Chau's killers cannot be prosecuted.

Deepak Yadav, a police officer in the island chain told in a statement that police have launched an investigation.

"We are aware of reports concerning a USA citizen in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands", a consulate spokeswoman said in an email.

The Sentinelese people have expressed a wish to remain uncontacted on multiple occasions, with the occasional violent clash.

Contact with several tribes on the islands, set deep in the Indian Ocean, is illegal in a bid to protect their indigenous way of life and shield them from diseases.

The US consulate in Chennai, on the Indian mainland, said it was aware of the reports but a spokeswoman declined to comment further for reasons of privacy.

His body has not yet been retrieved from the forbidden island.

Related news