An American man was killed on an island inhabited by a tribe that resides on the remote Andaman and Nicobar Islands hundreds of miles off the coast of India.
The American was identified as 27-year-old John Allen Chau, who sources said was a Christian missionary who wanted to convert the Sentinelese tribe that inhabits the island where he was killed.
Chau was killed by members of the tribe, which is a protected class under Indian law, according to police officials. Dependra Pathak, Director General of Police of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, told CNN: “We refuse to call him a tourist. Yes, he came on a tourist visa but he came with a specific purpose to preach on a prohibited island,” Pathak said. He also stressed that the Sentinelese must be left alone and that any forced contact with the outside world could put them in danger.
A complaint has been filed in Chennai by the US consulate there. The Chennai FIR is a missing persons complaint that was filed at the request of Chau’s mother.
Police spokesperson Deepak Yadav, said the Sentinelese is a sensitive tribe living in that area for 60,000 years. They should not be contacted. They could be prone to diseases from outside world. The Coast Guard and Indian Navy carry out patrolling to prevent people from entering.
Sources say Chau contacted some fishermen in order to reach the North Sentinel Island. A group of seven fishermen agreed to help and took to a forest located on the island.
Chau was murdered on the North Sentinel Island, which is part of the Andaman Islands, and seven people have been arrested in connection with the murder. The seven arrested are local fishermen who allegedly helped Chau reach the North Sentinel Island.
According to the fishermen, they used a wooden boat fitted with motors to travel to the island on November 15. Chau spent the day on the island and returned with arrow wounds. When Chau returned to the island the next day the tribespeople broke his canoe. Chau returned to the island on the 16th, but never came back. The fisherman who brought Chau to the island said they saw his body being drug around by the tribespeople.
His body has not yet been recovered.