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Rediff.com  » News » American tourist wasn't evangelising, but violated norms: MHA source

American tourist wasn't evangelising, but violated norms: MHA source

November 22, 2018 23:49 IST

The American tourist, who was allegedly killed by the Sentinelese tribe, violated all norms by entering the North Sentinel Island of Andaman, said a source in the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Dismissing reports that the victim, John Allen Chau, was involved in missionary works, the source said: "There was also no confirmation that the victim was involved in any evangelical activities."

It was further spelt out that the photographs which the deceased possessed indicated that he was an adventure sportsperson.

However, the source underlined, "Chau violated all the norms. Moreover, he had also not informed the hotel (that he was visiting the area)."

Describing the danger Chau took upon himself by entering the island which is inhabited by the world's most reclusive tribes, who reject any kind of contact with the outside world, the source said: "He was to a place which was highly sensitive and restricted from every point of view."

 

Before entering the island, it is mandatory to clear three filters including permissions from the Ministry of Tribal Affairs Ministry, Ministry of Environment and Forests and the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO).

Access to North Sentinel Island and its buffer zone is strictly restricted under Protection of Aboriginal Tribe (Regulation), 1956 and Regulations under Indian Forest Act, 1927.

The Ministry of Home Affairs through its recent circulars also restricted movement of foreigners in these areas.

There are 29 inhabited islands in the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands that have been excluded from the Restricted Area Permit (RAP) regime which include the North Sentinel Island where the incident took place.

The source, however, stressed that 'the government, as of now, is not thinking of imposing RAP despite the incident'.

He said that investigation is going on, and the Andaman and Nicobar Police have registered a case against unknown persons, and the mother of the victim had already been informed.

"We have no idea as to why he went there. It can only be found after investigation and interrogation of those who have been arrested," the source said.

The police have arrested seven people including Chau's local friend Alexander, an electronics engineer, and fishermen.

The victim visited Andaman and Nicobar Islands a few times earlier.

Meanwhile, Andaman and Nicobar Director General of Police Dependra Pathak said the police is taking help of anthropologists and experts to draw a strategy to search Chau's body.

The police is also perusing 13 pages of a journal written by Chau, which was handed over to them by Alexander to learn more about the incident, Pathak told PTI.

Pathak said contacts have been established with experts of Anthropological Survey of India, forest department, academicians and also of state tribal welfare department to prepare a strategy to reach to the place of incident and also search the body.

"Some success has been achieved in this direction so far," he said but refused to give details.

The DGP in a press statement on Wednesday had given details of Chau enlisting the help of local electronics engineer Alexander and a water sports service provider and hiring five fishermen to evade the patrolling teams of police, Coast Guard and Navy to approach the island.

For this, the local fishermen were paid around Rs 25,000 by Chau.

After dropping Chau, the fishermen had fixed their timings and place to meet each between the shoreline and their 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 DGP said, defining the circumstances leading to Chau's death, almost five days after the incident.

Subsequently, they returned to Port Blair and narrated the incident to Alexander and handed him the 13 pages of the journal written by Chau.

Alexander informed Bobby Parks, a friend of Chau, in the US, who in turn informed his mother.

His mother informed the US Consulate which in turn alerted the police on November 19.

A case of murder has been registered against anonymous persons, it said.

With PTI inputs

Source: ANI