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A Death on North Sentinel Island


Call me crazy, but an American Christian missionary being killed after illegally invading protected tribal lands in order to convert one of the world’s remaining un-contacted tribes to Christianity during Thanksgiving week feels just a little too on the nose.

An American man was killed on an island inhabited by a tribe known to resist outside contact in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. And, his body still lies there.

The American was identified as 27-year-old John Allen Chau, who sources said was a Christian missionary who wanted to convert the Sentinelese tribe that inhabits the island where he was killed.

Chau was killed by members of this tribe, which is protected under Indian law, a senior police officer told India Today TV.

The officer stressed that the Sentinelese must be left alone and that any forced contact with the outside world could put them in danger.

Chau was murdered on the North Sentinel Island, which is part of the Andaman Islands, and seven people have been arrested in connection with the murder.

Ed: I don’t think “murder” is the proper way to characterize this, for what it’s worth.

The seven arrested are local fishermen who allegedly helped Chau reach the North Sentinel Island.

The Andaman and Nicobar Police has registered a case of murder. Another complaint has been filed in Chennai by the US consulate there. The Chennai FIR is a missing persons complaint that was filed at the behest of Chau’s mother.

“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,” a US Consulate spokesperson said.

“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,” the spokesperson said.

Deepak Yadav, a Superintendent of Police in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Criminal Investigation Department, told India Today TV that Chau reached the union territory on October 16.

Chau, sources said, was a missionary who wanted to meet the Sentinelese in order to convert them to Christianity. He was also looking for “adventure”, the source said.



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