June 22, 2021
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Diary Of US Man Killed In Andaman Throws New Details About How Sentinelese Interact

John Allen Chau, 27, was killed by members of the Sentinelese Tribes, possibly with arrows, when he tried to enter the North Sentinel Island, on November 17.

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Diary Of US Man Killed In Andaman Throws New Details About How Sentinelese Interact
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Diary Of US Man Killed In Andaman Throws New Details About How Sentinelese Interact

On November 22, John Chau, an American tourist was killed by the Andaman tribes in Sentinel island as he tried to enter the restricted area illegally.

As per a report by  Hindustan Times, a note recovered by the officials on Thursday revealed some little-known details about the island and the people living there.

Hours before entering the restricted area Chau had left few notes with the fishermen accompanying him to the restricted island. According to Chau, on the morning of November 15, when he arrived on the island he met one man who appeared to be the tribe’s leader. Chau in his note had mentioned that the leader was wearing a crown made of flowers. Detailing about the language of the Sentinelese, Chau said they use high pitched sounds to interact with each other. "sounds such as the letters b, p, l and s" .

The notes also had details of the beach...dead corals, surf beach and white coarse sand.

Chau also noted that there were some 250 people staying at the protected island. He also wrote about the physical features of the tribe in his journal describing the men as about 5.5 feet tall with their faces smeared with a yellowish paste.

According to reports, Chau had been a missionary since 2017 and had been training to "share the gospel".

"We remember how throughout the church history, the privilege of sharing the gospel has often involved a great cost. We pray that John’s sacrificial efforts will bear eternal fruit in due season," All Nations said in an official statement. ( an international Christian missions training and sending organisation).

On Friday, a team of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) said they will visit the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in December to look into the issue of killing of a US national by a protected and reclusive tribe in the North Sentinel Island.

At a meeting on Friday, NCST chairman Nand Kumar Sai said, "Aggressive steps to recover the body of the US national will adversely disturb the peace and tranquillity in the island."

Earlier, the government had announced that the Restricted Area Permit (RAP), which forbids people from visiting prohibited locations without permission, may be reimposed in the North Sentinel Island.

The central government also said that they have listed 44 incidents of violation of rules and regulations, other than RAP, by foreigners from Andaman and Nicobar islands in the recent past.

The North Sentinel island is one of 29 islands in the Andamans where till June foreigners had to take special permission -- the RAP -- before being allowed to visit them.

What is RAP

The Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order 1958 states that a Protected Area Permit (PAP) is required for non-Indian citizens to visit certain areas in India (mainly in the North-East). Indian citizens do not need special permission to visit Restricted Areas.

Even though RAP was withdrawn, any tourist is required to take permission from the forest department and the administration of the Andamans as it is protected under two other acts -- protection of aboriginal people and forest acts.

The story so far...

John Allen Chau and the team had started on November 14 around 8 PM for the North Sentinel Island and reached there by midnight.

The next day, he moved to shore using his kayak which he towed with the fishing boat. After dropping him, the fishermen fixed their timings and place to meet each other between the shoreline and their high sea fishing area.

In the morning of November 17, they saw a dead person being buried at the shore which from the silhouette of the body, clothing and circumstances appeared to be the body of Chau, the police said.

Chau's accomplice and the fishermen were later arrested by the police.

Who are Sentinelese

The Sentinelese are reported to be extremely hostile to any attempts of contact by outside world. As the tribe has been living in isolation, their immunity to any disease from the outside world is almost non-existent.

The Sentinelese are the only tribe living on the North Sentinel Island, an archipelago in the Andamans.

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