American Is Killed by Bow and Arrow on Remote Indian Island

American Is Killed by Bow and Arrow on Remote Indian Island

American killed by isolated tribe on island in Andamans

John Allen Chau, 27, is believed to have paid fishermen to ferry him to North Sentinel Island, home to a 30,000-year-old tribe known to aggressively repel outsiders.

The fishermen in the dinghies tried to warn him its a risky thing, said Denis Giles, an activist for the rights of tribal groups and a journalist on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Indian territory where the incident took place.

He said Chau, who some Christian groups have claimed was a missionary, had been trying to find ways to reach North Sentinel Island and finally succeeded on Saturday, taking a dinghy with the fishermen, then completing the rest of the journey by kayak.

The North Sentinel Island is out of bounds for visitors, and is home to the Sentinelese community, who allegedly killed the American, identified as John Allen Chau, after he was illegally ferried there by fishermen, the officials added.

US man killed by tribe after ignoring ban on visiting remote North Sentinel island

Somehow he made it, said Giles. He added: The fishermen who were back in the dinghy saw an arrow hit him. Later they said he was taken deeper [into the island] and buried.

In a statement late on Tuesday, Deepak Yadav, a senior police officer, said authorities in the island chain in the Bay of Bengal had launched an investigation.

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are scattered across the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea. They were colonised by the UK in the 1850s and used as a penal colony, including for Indian dissidents and freedom fighters involved in the 1857 uprising against British rule.

Video: American believed killed by isolated tribe on Indian island

Anthropologists have evidence human life existed on Andamans at least 2,000 years ago, while genome studies suggest the four native tribes on the islands – of which the Sentinelese are the most isolated – are at least 30,000 years old.

North Sentinel Island is about 20 sq miles and the Sentinelese are estimated to number about 100 people. They are thought to have had no contact with surrounding communities since 1991. Starting in the 1960s, anthropologists – protected by armed guards – succeeded first in exchanging gifts, then conducting field visits with the tribe starting, but abandoned their efforts around 25 years ago.

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The Sentinelese violently resist contact with outsiders. In 2006, two Indian fishermen who moored their boat to sleep were killed when the vessel broke loose and drifted on to the shore, according to Survival International, a tribal rights advocacy group. The tribe fired a volley of arrows at a helicopter sent to retrieve the mens bodies.

Its reported John Allen Chau, a 27-year-old man from Vancouver, Washington, tried to convert the islanders to Christianity but the tribe has shunned attempts at contact in the past.

TM Pandit, an anthropologist who had led efforts to contact the tribe, recalled his first contact with the tribe in an interview in September. The tribespeople were on the beach, watching the boat come to the island, he said.

According to International Christian Concern, Chau was a Christian missionary who wanted to interact with members of the Sentinelese tribe.

There was a large number of them. But there was no reaction or resentment from them. We went about a kilometre inside the forest.

They did not come face to face with us, but rather hid in the forest, watching us. After some time, we came upon a large area of forest cleared for a camp. There were 18 small huts, with little fires burning in front of each, fenced off with sticks.

Previously, it was illegal to even film or photograph the tribespeople with punishments of up to three years in prison. Following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, when rescuers flew overhead to check for survivors their helicopter was repelled by repeated volleys of arrows from the tribespeople, widely considered ‘the most dangerous tribe in the world.’

Indian police said a murder case had been registered against unknown tribesmen and seven people arrested for helping Chau reach the island.

His body was discovered by fishermen riddled with arrows and half-buried in the sand the next day, but has not yet been retrieved as the tribe, believed to number between 50 and 150 people, are so aggressive towards outsiders. The group of seven fishermen who brought him to the North Sentinel island have all been arrested.

Chau had visited the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the past and told locals he had a strong desire to visit the Sentinelese and preach to them, a police source told Reuters.

“Police said Chau had previously visited North Sentinel island about four or five times with the help of local fishermen,” journalist Subir Bhaumik told the BBC. “The number of people belonging to the Sentinelese tribe is so low, they dont even understand how to use money.”

Giles said there had been confusion in the territory over whether the island could legally be visited since April, when the Indian government lifted some restrictions on tourists. One among the islands which was opened up was North Sentinel island, he said.

Remote “uncontacted” island tribe killed an interloping missionary with arrows

Sophie Grig, a senior researcher with Survival International, said that by trying to reach the island Chau had risked both his own safety and that of the tribe.

Isolated Indian tribe kill American intruder

This is one of the most vulnerable tribes on the planet, Grig said. He could be passing on diseases that could literally wipe them all out.

News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tribespeople on North Sentinel Island, where Chau died. Photograph: Dinodia Photos/Alamy Stock Photo The Indian government has what it calls a hands off, eyes on policy to the tribe, meaning officials moor boats near the island every few months to check on the inhabitants welfare.

US tourist killed after being shot with arrows on island with hostile tribe

The US consulate in Chennai, the capital of southern Tamil Nadu state, said it was aware of the reports of Chaus death but spokeswoman Kathleen Hosie declined to comment further due to privacy considerations.

Shiv Visvanathan, a social scientist and a professor at Jindal Global Law School, said the North Sentinel Island was a protected area and not open to tourists. The exact population of the tribe is not known, but it is declining. The government has to protect them, he said.

Poachers are known to fish illegally in the waters around the island, catching turtles and diving for lobsters and sea cucumbers.

Only about 700 people belonging to the four native tribes of the islands are thought to remain, down from the 5,000 the British estimated were there when they arrived. They hunt wild animals and gather fruit, honey and insects.

News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services.

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