An American national has been killed by some unidentified persons in North Sentinel Island in Andaman. A case of murder has been filed and seven people have been arrested so far.
The victim has been identified as John Allen Chau, 27. He was killed on Saturday last week, a police officer was quoted as saying by Reuters. Visits to the island are heavily restricted by the government, he added.
Andaman Sheekha, a local newspaper in Andaman island, claimed Sentinelese tribe to be behind the incident. Sentinelese tribe is an endangered community with a population of around 40 (Census of India, 2011) and are known to resist contact with the outside world.
In response to a query from the Indian Express, a US consulate in Chennai spokesperson said, “We are aware of reports concerning a US citizen in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The welfare and safety of US citizens abroad is one of the highest priorities of the US Department of State. When a US citizen is missing, we work closely with local authorities as they carry out their search efforts. Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment.”
A police source told Reuters that Chau, who had made previous visits to the islands, had a strong desire to meet the Sentinelese. He had hired a dinghy and along with a few fishermen, he reached the vicinity of the island on November 16 before transferring to a canoe.
His body was recovered the following day by the fishermen on their return. The body has not been retrieved yet. The fishermen who took him there have been arrested.
(With agency inputs)