India Being Appealed to Call Off Efforts to Retrieve Chau’s Body

Those urging India to call off the efforts have underlined the risks for the officials as well as the members of the isolated tribe.


Appeals are being made to Indian authorities to call off the efforts to retrieve the dead body of American tourist John Allen Chau who was killed by the indigenous people of isolated North Sentinel island in Andaman in mid-November.

Survival International, which campaigns for the rights of indigenous tribal and uncontacted people, has asked the Indian government to leave Chau’s body and Sentinelese people alone by calling off the efforts to retrieve his body.

Survival International’s Director Stephen Corry issued a statement on Nov.26 and underlined the risks for Indian officers as well as the tribesmen.

“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,” he said in a statement on organization’s official website.

He pointed out that entry of any outsider at the isolated island can be dangerous for the tribe members, as they are not immune to the diseases.

“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,” he said.

Corry also said, “Mr. Chau’s body should be left alone, as should the Sentinelese. The weakening of the restrictions on visiting the islands must be revoked, and the exclusion zone around the island properly enforced.”

Not just internationally but even domestically India is being asked to call off every effort to search Chau’s body.

In a joint statement, many eminent people including anthropologists, authors, and editors from Andaman and Nicobar Islands, have urged the administration to stay away from the isolated island and its inhabitants for the sake of their survival, reported the New Indian Express.

“The rights and the desires of the Sentinelese need to be respected and nothing is to be achieved by escalating the conflict and tension, and worse, to creating a situation where more harm is caused,” said the joint statement.

Chau was killed on Nov.16 when he entered the isolated and preserved territory of protected North Sentinel tribal people, who shot him down with their arrows. Police said that his body was buried on the beach by the tribesmen. It was also reported a few days ago that site of Chau’s body has been identified but officials retreated seeing armed tribesmen.

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