A missionary was killed by an Indian tribe he was trying to save.
John Allen Chau, an American Christian, was killed on North Sentinel Island, home to the endangered and territorial Sentinelese tribe. Mr Chau, 27, travelled by boat to the location among India’s Andaman and Nicobar islands. According to local media, he was ferried by fishermen after he told them that he wanted to preach Christianity there.
One of the local officials said: “A murder case has been registered.” However, any contact with the isolated tribe is forbidden. As a result, Mr Chau’s killers cannot be prosecuted. The officials requested anonymity, since they were not authorised to speak to the media.
The tribe, a community of dangerous hunter-gatherers, has a protected status, meaning that they cannot be contacted by anybody from the outside world.
A source said, “he tried to reach the Sentinel island on November 14 but could not make it. Two days later, he went well-prepared. He left the dinghy midway and took a canoe, all by himself, to the island.
“He was attacked by arrows but he continued walking. The fishermen saw the tribals tying a rope around his neck and dragging his body away.”
The source added, “they were scared and fled but returned the next morning to find his body on the seashore.”
When the fishermen returned to South Andaman Island, where they had travelled from, they told a local preacher and friend of Mr Chau what had happened.
Regardless of the tribe’s protection, Deepak Yadav, a police official based within the island chain, in the Bay of Bengal, said that officers have launched an investigation.
A spokeswoman for the United States Consulate based in India’s southern city of Chennai said, “we are aware of reports concerning a US citizen in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
“When a US citizen is missing, we work closely with local authorities as they carry out their search efforts.”
Another source said that Mr Chau had a strong ambition to meet and preach the gospel to the Sentinelese tribe. His body has not yet been retrieved from the forbidden island.