While the body of a young American killed by tribals of North Sentinel Island still lies there, experts have urged to abandoned any plan of its recovery, as that would be damaging to those who venture as well as the tribals.
John Chau was killed when he illegally went to the Indian ocean island apparently to convert the tribals to Christianity. The Sentinelese tribals are one of the world’s last tribes “uncontacted” by civilisation.
“We urge the Indian authorities to abandon efforts to recover John Allen Chau’s body. Any such attempt is incredibly dangerous, both for the Indian officials, but also for the Sentinelese, who face being wiped out if any outside diseases are introduced,” said Stephen Corry, Director of Survival International, a global NGO for tribal people.
“The risk of a deadly epidemic of flu, measles or other outside disease is very real and increases with every such contact. Such efforts in similar cases in the past have ended with the Sentinelese attempting to defend their island by force,” Corry said in a statement.
“Missionary work has a long and negative impact with indigenous people. It plays a crucial role in colonialism”: indigenous rights activist @ListerMajerle and @Survival‘s @sophiegrig on #Sentinelese. https://t.co/SYKd0MS0nC
— Survival International (@Survival) November 25, 2018
The NGO urged the authorities to tighten restrictions to in visiting the island and to enforce an exclusion zone around it.
Chau had the help of some local fishermen to reach the tribals, who are numbered less than a hundred and are thought to have migrated to there thousands of years ago from Africa.
The tribals who fiercely resist any attempt to step into their territory, speak a language which is so far understood by no other group.
A 3-mile exclusion zone had been placed around the island to stop the attacks and killings by the tribals.
In August this year, the central government had made it easier for foreigners to visit the island, along with 28 other, as it took away the requirement of needing a restricted area permit (RAP), to boost tourism.
But visiting Reserved forests, wildlife sanctuaries and tribal reserves in these areas still required separate official approvals.