New Delhi: Action will be taken against those who have uploaded videos and pictures of the protected Jarawa and other tribal communities of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on social media, the government said on Friday.
The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) said it has taken suo moto cognisance of these instances and has decided to take up the matter with various ministries including the Union home ministry and ministry of external affairs among others.
The NCST, in a statement, said it will seek "removal of these objectionable video films from YouTube and initiate action on those who uploaded these video clips on social media platforms".
It said the Andamanese, Jarawas, Onges, Sentinelese, Nicobarese and Shom Pens have been identified as "aboriginal tribes" and they are protected under the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Protection of Aboriginal Tribes) Regulation.
The regulation, it said, contains the provisions of protection of these communities from outside interference. Also, penalty provisions for promoting tourism through advertisements relating to aboriginal tribes has also been made in 2012.
"Whoever enters these areas in contravention of the notification under section 7 (which prohibits entry into reserve areas) for taking photographs or making videos shall be punishable with imprisonment up to three years," it said, adding, various sections of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act) can also be slapped against the offenders.
The total population of tribes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands is about 28,077. Out of these, five tribal communities have populations of below 500, it said.