The Andaman and Nicobar Islands administration has decided to suspend expeditions to retrieve the body of US national John Allen Chau, who was reportedly killed a few days ago by the Sentinelese tribe.
The decision comes after a meeting with top police officers, anthropologists, forest officials on Monday. It is learnt that the Centre has recommended suspension of all such operations that may lead to disturbing the indigenous tribe in North Sentinel Island.
“It has been decided that we will suspend expeditions to North Sentinel Islands to retrieve the body. This is being done keeping in mind the sensitive situation involving the Sentinelese (tribal people). We do not want to disturb them in any way,” a senior police officer, who took part in Monday’s meeting, said on conditions of anonymity.
Sources said a series of meeting was held to discuss the issue at the Secretariat and the police headquarters here. Representatives of the Department of Tribal Welfare, Andaman & Nicobar Tribal Research Institute, anthropologists, and Forest Department were part of the meeting.
A senior administrative officer of Andaman and Nicobar Islands said, “Such expeditions put the Sentinelese at risk, and it seemed futile, since our team is yet to spot the body. We should not disturb the tribe in any way. The Central government is also of the same opinion and has advised us to suspend fresh expeditions.”
The first round of expeditions were undertaken on November 20 for a recce of North Sentinel Island in order to spot the body. Police teams, along with members of the Adim Janjati Bikas Samity and Forest Department officials, made the recce by air and sea with the help of the Indian Coast Guard. The police are re-interrogating three of the accused and trying to recreate the sequence of events, according to officials.