American tourist killed by Sentinelese Tribe on remote island off-limits to visitors

PORT BLAIR, Nov 21 (Reuters) - An American visiting one of the islands in India's remote cluster of Andaman and Nicobar has been killed by a group of hunter-gatherers who live there isolated from the outside world, two police officials said on Wednesday.

The North Sentinel Island is out of bounds for visitors, and is home to the Sentinelese community, who allegedly killed the American, identified as John Allen Chau, after he was illegally ferried there by fishermen, the officials added.

"A murder case has been registered," one of the officials told Reuters. Both officials sought anonymity as they are not authorized to speak to the media.

In a statement late on Tuesday, Deepak Yadav, a senior police officer, said authorities in the island chain in the Bay of Bengal had launched an investigation.

Photos of Chau: 

John Chau, the Amerian allegedly killed by Sentinelese Tribe on remote island
See Gallery
John Chau, the Amerian allegedly killed by Sentinelese Tribe on remote island
So stoked to be an uncle to this future adventurer!
Kayaking the tropics in this endless summer. #offseason #adventure #tropics #orukayak #perkyjerky #wild #theoutbound #origamikayak #neverstopexploring
Hoodrats Unite. ••• Whatta man. THEE John Chau. Ladies, searchin for a man with a vision? Look no further. This guy follows Jesus no matter the cost. Literally. Can’t wait for what’s to come, but I enjoy each time we get to hang, hike, and chill, this time under the Hood. ••• Thx for leg day. See you soon, brosky. Keep sendin it. 🤙🏼
Summer days, cool nights, and mountain views. So thankful for these pals from Eastern Washington who met up with me for an overnighter! #mountains #mtadams #pnw #wilderness #wild #perkyjerky #explore #solideogloria
Happy Father's Day to my amazing Baba! He came to the US as a refugee during the Cultural Revolution and has overcome so many challenges. He's an incredible artist, doctor, landscaper, koi-pond-builder, electrician, carpenter, and best of all, a father to me, @huntingtheriverking, and @merchau. He's definitely one of my role models! #fathersday #bestfather #grandcanyon #refugee #theoutbound #perkyjerky #explorer
What an honor to have everyone’s favorite human with us this past month! John Chau you are FAMILY and we absolutely love you heart and soul. Thank you for sharpening our souls, making yard fires, fixing trees, weaving rope and everything in between. Till next time!
Apparently only the cool kids went to ORU... well, I missed that memo! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ But such a good weekend hanging out and talking adventures with David’s buddies from the college days! . . . #Washingtondc #dc #orualumni #oru #adventures #exploremore #travelmore #vsco #vscocam
Snapshots from exploring the Trinity Alps High Route with @sethswank. #norcal #perkyjerky #bedrocksandals #mountaineering #springbreak #wild
Summit selfie with the one and only @thejeremybeiler. Great time catching up and sharing our year's wild adventures. Keep sending it, you wildman! #adventures #wild #dayhikes #socal #neverstopexploring #theoutbound #perkyjerky
Still can’t believe you were taken. It’s a comfort to know you’re with the Lord, but we’ll miss you 😢
Headed to the coast today with @wade_coetzee13 before he starts school tomorrow. Thanks for the beta on this spot, @alexwhitey24! #coastalvibes #pnw #theoutbound #perkyjerky #ubuntu #pacific #coast #explore
Throwback to four months ago when I was stuck in the ICU with a gnarly bite from a rattlesnake and a subsequent platelet count of 10. Thank you all for the support and prayers, and I'm stoked that I'm 100% recovered and didn't turn into Snakeman. #throwbackthursday #tbt #snakebite #california #wild #theoutbound #icu #envenomation #solideogloria #snakes #perkyjerky PC: @lindsay_gerrity
Had a great time hanging out with @sethswank in Kansas City - throwing axes, exploring downtown, sharing stories from the past with college pals, and celebrating his wedding to @courtney.swank I'm grateful for his friendship and for all of the wild and crazy adventures we've had, and I'm super stoked for them both as they start this new adventure in life together! #adventureawaits
So good seeing these folks out in New Jersey at @danielpmccarthy822 and @kylamccarthy_ 's wedding. It's hard to imagine that seven years ago Danny, JD, and I were summer camp counselors at @campolympia1968, and the following year we and Griff and Brooke and other friends would all be spending a month in Cape Town, South Africa with @oru_missions. Time sure flies by but thank God for such incredible friends and wonderful memories! #friends #weddingseason #longhair #whatsworthit #livethestory #adventure #summer PC: Griffith Poindexter
I'm so proud of these young men! I had no idea that they would be playing in Oklahoma's 6A state soccer final today and am so grateful to have been able to watch them play. I can't believe how much they've grown, and I can't wait to see them continue to grow and positively impact not just their local community but also those around the world! Keep up the good work, brothers! #morethanagame #myanmarfc #futbol #solideogloria #oklahoma
Dayhiked San Gorgonio (11,503 ft) in my @bedrocksandals. Started at 0730, summited at 1200, and got back to the trailhead at 1600. Total distance: 18.6 miles and 5,422 ft of elevation gained. Fun times with @thejeremybeiler as he heads down south with @thepanamericantrail on their wild and epic motorcycle journey from Alaska to Argentina, climbing along the way. #neverstopexploring #theoutbound #perkyjerky #bedrocksandals #mountainhardwear #patagonia #wildplaces #dayhikes #socal

The investigation began after police were contacted by the United States consulate in the southern city of Chennai, which has been in touch with Chau's mother, the statement said.

"We are aware of reports concerning a U.S. citizen in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands," a consulate spokeswoman said in an email.

"When a U.S. citizen is missing, we work closely with local authorities as they carry out their search efforts," she added, but declined to provide further details over privacy concerns.

One of the police sources told Reuters Chau was a preacher who had visited the Andaman and Nicobar islands in the past. Police have learned he had a strong desire to meet the Sentinelese and preach on the island, the source added.

Reuters was unable to confirm if Chau planned to preach on the island, and was not immediately able to trace contact details for his family or a representative.

One police source told Reuters Chau hired a fishing dinghy and, aided by the fishermen, reached the vicinity of the island on Nov. 16, before transferring to a canoe.

His body, spotted the following day by the fishermen on their return, has not yet been retrieved, the official said, adding that the fishermen who took him there had been arrested.

North Sentinel Island is about 50 km (31 miles) west of Port Blair, the capital of the island cluster.

In 2006, two fishermen, whose boat strayed onto the 60-sq-km (23-square-mile) island, were killed and their bodies never recovered.

An Indian Coast Guard helicopter sent to retrieve the bodies was repelled by a volley of arrows from the community, believed to be the last pre-Neolithic tribe in the world. (Reporting by Sanjib Kumar Roy; Writing by Euan Rocha; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Read Full Story

From Our Partners