New Delhi: The Ministry of Home Affairs has asked for a status report on the Andaman tribals after a video of the Jarawa tribe allegedly being forced to dance surfaced. However, the Andaman police has downplayed the video, calling it an 'old one' and blamed the British journalist of forcing the Jarawas to dance for the tourists.
Andaman DGP SB Deol said that the video that has been released by 'The Observer' is a 10-year old video of the year 2002.
He also said that whoever shot the video violated the rules and will have to face action. "It is obvious that it is the videographer who is breaking the law of the land and who is inciting the tribals to dance," the Andaman DGP said in a statement.
He refuted the allegations that the police took bribe to take the tourists to the Jarawa reserve.
The DGP also claimed that at the time when the video was recorded, most of the Jarawas did not wear clothes.
However, 'The Observer', the British newspaper that carried the report claims the video was not old. 'The Observer' journalist Gethin Chambarlain added, "Bribing the cops costs Rs 15,000 to the tourists. Six months back, a police officer was disciplined for doing so."
The journalist also refused to divulge when it was shot, but said it was not old.
Tribal Affairs Minister V Kishore Chandra S Deo asked for a report on the issue. "I've read the report in the newspapers, what I saw in the clips was disgusting. I've asked for a report and will certainly take action on it."
'The Observer' report says that the Jarawa tribes in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are being lured with food to dance for tourists, according to a report. The report says that what's being called a 'human safari' is conducted under the supervision of the policemen.
'The Observer' also released a video, which shows the tribals being forced to dance, allegedly after a bribe was paid to a policeman.
Such safaris brazenly flout laws that prohibit close contact with the rare tribals and photographing them. There are just 403 surviving members of the Jarawa tribe who live in reserve forests on south Andaman.
The Supreme Court had ordered that the Andaman Trunk Road be closed down in 2002. But in 2004, the Jarawa policy had recommended that the road should be open, but have limited traffic. The issue remained unsolved after that.
The Jarawas are one of the indigenous people of the Andaman Islands and in 1998 they started to venture out of the jungles. In 2007, the government created a buffer zone to protect the Jarawas from outside contact and exploitation. The Jarawas are said to be descendants of some of the first humans to move out of Africa.