US man killed in Andaman was on planned adventure: NCST chief


PORT BLAIR: The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes said Tuesday the American national killed by Sentinelese tribesmen in the Andamans last month was pursuing a “planned adventure”.
Like the Sentinelese, there are many primitive tribes in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands contact with whom is prohibited for outsiders, the Commission’s chairperson Nand Kumar Sai told reporters here.
“Preliminary investigations suggest that it was a planned adventure trip by the American national, John Allen Chau. Investigation is still on,” Sai said.
Chau, 27, was killed by a protected and reclusive tribe, the Sentinelese, off North Sentinel Island after he reached there with the help of some fishermen.
Access to North Sentinel Island and its buffer zone is restricted under the Protection of Aboriginal Tribe (Regulation), 1956 and Regulations under Indian Forest Act, 1927.
Efforts are on to identify other people who assisted him in his journey, Sai said adding that so far, seven persons have been arrested in the case.
“Foreign nationals always had an eye on the primitive tribes of these islands and made several attempts in the past to make contacts with them. We need to protect such tribes and their habitat should be completely closed for outsiders,” Sai said.
The incident, however, has no link to the Restricted Area Permit, the NCST chairperson said.
The Commission is taking action against photos and videos of these tribes posted on social media, he said.
The tribal communities of these islands are divided into two categories one is now part of the mainstream and the other resists contact with outsiders and there is need to preserve the second category, he said.
In view of the recent accident, the administration and the general public of these islands should become more vigilant, Sai said.
The Commission has suggested setting up of a university on these islands for development and education of the tribal communities here, he added. PTI