American killed by an isolated tribe on remote Indian island

Isolated Indian tribe kill American evangelist who ventured too close

The 27-year-old American, identified as John Allen Chau, came to India on a tourist visa but came to the Andaman and Nicobar islands in October with the express objective of proselytizing, Dependra Pathak, director general of police of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, told CNN. MacLeod said "I saw him [Chau] reading some Christian literature and I'm a Christian and we started talking".

However, director general of police in Andaman and Nicobar, Dependra Pathak, told TNM: "He lived in Alabama, US".

Chau did not inform the police of his intentions to travel to the island to attempt to convert its inhabitants, officials said.

"He was a beloved son, brother, uncle, and best friend to us", The Chau family wrote in an Instagram post. He led backpacking expeditions in the Northwest's Cascade Mountains, nearly lost his leg to a rattlesnake bite, and coached soccer for poor children in Iraq and South Africa. The Daily Mail article said "The number of people belonging to the Sentinelese tribe is so low, they don't even understand how to use money".

Oral Roberts University - Mr Chau's Christian higher education college in Tulsa, Oklahoma - said it was not surprised he had been involved in missionary work at the time of his death.

North Sentinel Island
North Sentinel Island

Professor Joshi noted that the visit not only risked Chau's life, but also the lives of islanders who have little resistance to many diseases. He also documented his extensive travels, posting photos of climbing the peaks of the Cascade Range, scuba diving on previous trips to the Andaman Islands and fishing in Southern California.

A murder case had been registered against "unknown tribesmen" and seven people arrested in connection with the death, who are thought to be the fishermen who took Mr Chau to the island.

The American's kayak became damaged, so he swam to the fishermen's boat, which was waiting at a prearranged location.

The island, barely 50 km away from the coast of Port Blair, has been a "no-contact zone" since 1996.

The authorities said Chau arrived in the area on October 16 and stayed on another island while he prepared to travel to North Sentinel.

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"So, he came back to the boat swimming".

The next morning, the fishermen - now arrested for taking him close to the "mouth of death" - saw the tribe, the Sentinelese, burying someone on the shore.

The police haven't independently verified whether he is dead, but based on what the fishermen have told them believe that he was killed.

He was apparently killed by arrows, but the cause of death can not be confirmed until his body is recovered.

The Indian government adopted a policy of "isolation with minimal intervention" toward the Sentinelese and several other tribes in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which are in the Bay of Bengal off the eastern coast of India.

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"We are aware of reports concerning a USA citizen in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands", a consulate spokeswoman said in an email, but declined to provide further details. "Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment", the official said. Chau had no permit, police said.

"John loved people, and he loved Jesus". "We have become a very risky people", Joshi said, "even minor influences can kill them".

After penning the letter, Chau set sail for the North Sentinel Island. The policemen accompanying them deposited gifts on the island, hoping for a more friendly welcome next time. The territory has a population of almost 380,000, according to India's 2011 census. In the 2001 census, the total population was estimated to be 39. In one blog, he said that returning to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands was one of his main ambitions, noting, "I definitely get my inspiration for life from Jesus".

British colonists kidnapped four members of the tribe in the 19th century and Indian anthropologists managed to make limited contact with the community starting in 1967, but for the past 25 years, the group has been isolated from the outside world.

The Indian Government has sought to protect the Sentinelese and respected their wishes to be left alone.

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"Just for our curiosity, why should we disturb a tribe that has sustained itself for tens of thousands of years?" she asked.

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