Published On: Wed, Nov 21st, 2018

John Chau killed by remote Sentinelese people while on illegal ‘adventure’ or missionary trip

An American man has been killed by an isolated Indian island tribe known to attack outsiders with bows and arrows. Police identified John Allen Chau as the man killed after fishermen ferried him onto the island inhabited by the Sentinelese people.

John Allen Chau

Police officer Vijay Singh,said seven fishermen had been arrested for facilitating the American’s visit to North Sentinel Island, where visits to the island are heavily restricted by the government.

Indian media claim Chau, 27, was on an adventure trip to the islands and his body was found by the fishermen.

“The fishermen told the police that they last saw the American man facing a flurry of arrows after he landed on the island towards the southern Andamans on November 16. The tribes dragged the American to the beach, they said, adding that moments later as they were sailing away they saw Mr Chau’s body half-buried in the sand,” reports NDTV.

“He tried to reach the Sentinel island on November 14 but could not make it. Two days later he went well prepared. He left the dingy midway and took a canoe all by himself to the island,” a source told news agency AFP.

“He was attacked by arrows but he continued walking. The fishermen saw the tribals tying a rope around his neck and dragging his body. They were scared and fled but returned next morning to find his body on the sea shore,” the source said.

Chau’s friend, a preacher named Alex, contacted the family, who then reached out to government officials for help.

The Sentinelese people live on a small forested island and are known to resist all contact with outsiders, often attacking anyone who comes near.

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 a group of islands at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea.

The U.S. consulate in Chennai, the capital of southern Tamil Nadu state, was aware of the reports.

“We are aware of reports concerning a U.S. citizen in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands,” a consulate spokeswoman Kathleen Hosie said, declining to comment further due to privacy considerations.

“When a U.S. citizen is missing, we work closely with local authorities as they carry out their search efforts,” she added

Shiv Viswanathan, 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.”

Chau had been to the Andamans several times in the last few years. The American man was also “a preacher” who apparently told Alex that he was interested in converting the Sentinelese people.

This was confirmed as well.

“Police said Chau had previously visited North Sentinel island about four or five times with the help of local fishermen,” journalist Subir Bhaumik, who has been covering the islands for years, told BBC Hindi.

“The number of people belonging to the Sentinelese tribe is so low, they don’t even understand how to use money. It’s in fact illegal to have any sort of contact with them.”

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at theglobaldispatch@gmail ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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  1. Mary Chaude says:

    Stupid guy.he take with homme all us s**t disques and most ancestral people un thé world will die because of him

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