John Allen Chau killed by Sentinelese tribe: NCST team to visit Andaman islands to review incident of American's death

A team of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) will visit the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in December to look into the issue of killing of a US national by a protected and reclusive tribe in the North Sentinel Island

Press Trust of India November 29, 2018 12:17:02 IST
John Allen Chau killed by Sentinelese tribe: NCST team to visit Andaman islands to review incident of American's death

New Delhi: A team of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) will visit the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in December to look into the issue of killing of a US national by a protected and reclusive tribe in the North Sentinel Island, according to an official statement. A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of the NCST on Wednesday.

At the meeting, NCST chairman Nand Kumar Sai said, "Aggressive steps to recover the body of the US national will adversely disturb the peace and tranquility in the island." The commission also reviewed the reports submitted by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Andaman and Nicobar administration on the incident, the statement said.

John Allen Chau killed by Sentinelese tribe NCST team to visit Andaman islands to review incident of Americans death

File photo of John Allen Chau (right) stands for a photograph with Founder of Ubuntu Football Academy Casey Prince, days before he left for India. AP

John Allen Chau, 27, was killed by members of the Sentinelese Tribes, possibly with arrows, when he tried to enter the North Sentinel Island, on 17 November.

At the meeting, the NCST chairperson said that following the "unfortunate incident, the vulnerability of the Sentinelese tribes in the North Sentinel Island has increased manyfold and any aggressive steps to recover the body will adversely disturb the peace and tranquility in the island".

He said that the NCST team will visit the Andaman and Nicobar Islands from 4 to 6 December for an "investigation and monitoring of the matter".  Sai also urged the government to take all necessary steps to maintain "inviolability of the North Sentinel Island".

Fishermen told police that Chau had visited the Andaman and Nicobar Islands five times earlier. He had expressed a desire to meet the Sentinelese tribe, whose name is derived from that of the island they inhabit, Sentinel, which is at a distance of 102 kilometres from Port Blair.

Chau had hired a fishing dinghy from the Chidiyatapu area and reached close to the island on 16 November, from where he traveled in his own canoe. He had made a failed attempt to reach the island on 14 November as well, police said. A case of culpable homicide has been registered, and the fishermen who took to the island have been arrested.

The Sentinelese tribe is known to resist all contact with outsiders, often firing arrows at anyone who comes near. Its people survived the tsunami of 2004 without any help from the outside world.

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