In another case of rape in the area that protects the aborigines of the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, east of India, four people were captured by members of the Jarawa tribe on December 8, after illegally invading the security perimeter of the Jarawa Forest Reserve.
According to the United News of India agency, the offenders came from a neighboring village and entered the reserve through the jungle that connects both territories when they were intercepted and handed over to the police after they requisitioned a deer.
The authorities, with the help of the institution that represents the Jawara, registered the crime, according to the Law of Prevention of Atrocities against Tribes. The incident comes a month after the disappearance of an American in Sentinel del Norte, a protected island 48 kilometers from Central Andaman.
The case of John Allen Chau caused an international commotion when it was learned that this young American had broken the law when trying to contact the tribe that inhabits the island of Sentinel del Norte, a protected space of 72 square kilometers in the Andaman Sea that It bathes the coasts of India, Bangladesh and Myanmar.
According to police inquiries, based on the statements of the fishermen who helped him reach the shore of the islet, the missionary was last seen on November 16 after being attacked with bows and arrows, and allegedly killed, by members of the aboriginal community. The incident led the Indian Ministry of the Interior to consider the cancellation of the access permitto 29 of the 300 islands of the archipelago; a measure approved last summer to promote local development.
“There has been no attempt to recover the body. We are still waiting for indications from the Anthropological Study of India “, confirms, Dependra Pathak, chief of police in charge of the case. After several approaches to the coast, the authorities ceased their attempts to approach Sentinel del Norte 11 days after registering the homicide.
Trying to avoid a conflict with the local community, and at the request of experts and indigenous rights groups, the administration of the archipelago suspended the search for Chau until, two weeks ago, a delegation from the National Commission of the Disfavoured Tribes visited the island. After that mission, a final response is expected from the Anthropological Study of India; that was already in contact with this tribe decades ago.
Meanwhile, the police focus their investigation on the latest movements of John Allen Chau, who tried to enter the island repeatedly before being attacked by the tribe. “For now, we are looking for two Americans with whom Mr. Chau met between November 5 and 9 and those who left Andaman on the 11th.
That was the initial date on which Chau wanted to enter Northern Sentinel; postponed until the 16th due to weather problems “, explains Pathak, who says that these people could have more information about the intentions of the 26-year-old or” be linked, together with Chau, to an organization “.
According to Chau’s own newspaper, his mission was to convert the inhabitants of Sentinel del Norte to Christianity. The subsequent reconstruction made by his acquaintances, also showed that the American missionary had planned for years the evangelization of the Sentinelese for what he had trained in an evangelist group in Kansas, All Nations.
Its leader, Mary Ho, said to be current of the intentions of Chau; who does not believe guilty of the crime of violating protected territory. Other American evangelical missionary groups, however, criticized the young man’s temerity. While the adventure of this preacher raised international outrage for endangering a tribe that has lived peacefully apart thousands of years; igniting the debate on indigenous protection.
The event forced the visit to the Andaman archipelago of a delegation of the United States Consulate in Chennai, capital of the southern state of Tamil Nadu, to see the situation first-hand, US State Department responds: “We are aware of the information published on the death of a US citizen in the Anamán and Nicobar Islands. The US Mission in India is in permanent contact with local authorities. For reasons of privacy, we have no further comments. “