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New Delhi Correspondent
Indian authorities said it will take some more time to recover the body of an American man who was killed in a hail of arrows in an isolated island inhabited by a tribe known to resist contacts with outside civilization in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The American was identified as John Allen Chau, 27, who sources said was a Christian missionary who had gone to Sentinel Island to convert the Sentinelese tribe that inhabits the island where he was killed a couple of days ago. Chau was killed by members of the tribe which is protected under Indian law, a senior police officer told the Indian media.
Seven fishermen who allegedly helped Chau reach the North Sentinel Island, which is a no-go area for Indians and foreigners; have been arrested in connection with the murder. A case of murder has been registered. Vijay Singh, Senior Superintendent of Police in Andaman and Nicobar islands said in a statement that police plan to investigate “the sequence of events, the sea route followed” by Chau in reaching the North Sentinel Island and other matters.
The Sentinelese tribesmen, hunters armed with primitive spears and bows and arrows, are considered to be the last pre-Neolithic tribe in the world and believed to living in North Sentinel Island for 55,000 years. Their number has come down drastically over centuries and is now to be only a few dozen in number. For decades, they have rebuffed any contact with the outside world.
Indian law prohibits tourism in North Sentinel Island and photography of the Sentinelese tribesmen as also certain other tribes in the Andaman Islands. Those found guilty of breaking the law face jail of up to three years.
Dependra Pathak, Director General of Police in the Andaman and Nicobar islands, said it will take some more time to recover the body of Chau.