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Andaman: American Killed by 'Hostile Tribe' in North Sentinel Islands, 7 Fishermen Who Took Him There Arrested

The murdered tourist has been identified as John Allen Chau. As soon as he set foot on the island, Chau found himself facing a flurry of arrows.


Updated:November 21, 2018, 2:44 PM IST
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Andaman: American Killed by 'Hostile Tribe' in North Sentinel Islands, 7 Fishermen Who Took Him There Arrested
An aerial view of the coast of Indira Point, India's southern most point, 600 km south of Port Blair, in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago (Reuters)

New Delhi: Seven people have been arrested in connection with the murder of an American in the North Sentinel Islands in Anadaman.

The murdered man has been identified as 27-year-old John Allen Chau.

The North Sentinel island is home to the Sentinelese tribe, which remains one of the last protected tribes with no contact with the outside world.

According to local media reports, Chau was killed by members the hostile tribe. As soon as he set foot on the island, Chau found himself facing a flurry of arrows, official sources told AFP.

Chau was reportedly a missionary and had visited the isolated islands five times, strongly desiring to meet members of the tribe.

A statement issued by Deputy Commissioner of South Andaman said that they received a mail from US consulate general in Chennai, informing the Indian authorities about the communication the consulate had received from Chau's mother.

"Mother of Mr John Chau informed that her son was purportedly attacked during his visit to North Sentinel Island here. Acting on the information, Andaman and Nicobar Police has registered a case of murder at Humfrigunj police station and arrested seven fishermen," it said.

Speaking to News18 from Port Blair, Deputy Commissioner of South Andaman, Udit Prakash Rai, said, "We have received an information about the body of a foreign national at the remote Sentinelese Islands. The matter is under investigation." The local police are making efforts to recover the body.

The American national had made several trips to the Andaman islands recently before finally managing to make it to the remote stretch by offering money to local fishermen in Port Blair's Wandoor area. "He tried to reach the Sentinel island on November 14 but could not make it. Two days later he went well prepared. He left the dingy midway and took a canoe all by himself to the island," sources told AFP.

"He was attacked by arrows but he continued walking. The fishermen saw the tribals tying a rope around his neck and dragging his body. "They were scared and fled but returned next morning to find his body on the sea shore."

The Andamans are also home to the 400-strong Jarawa tribe who activists say are at threat from outsiders, who often bribe local authorities to spend a day out with them. But tribes such as the Sentinelese shun all contact with the outside world and are known to be hostile to any encroachers. The North Sentinel island is out of bounds even to the Indian navy in a bid to protect its reclusive inhabitants who number only about 150.

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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