[Updated] American Tourist Killed in a Storm of Arrows After Illegally Trying to Visit a Remote Indian Tribe

An American tourist was killed in a sea of arrows shot by tribesmen living in one of the world’s most isolated regions tucked in India’s Andaman islands.

via AP:

John Chau, 27, had taken a boat ride with local fishermen before venturing alone in a canoe to the remote North Sentinel Island where the indigenous people live cut off completely from the outside world.

As soon as he set foot on the island, Chau found himself facing a flurry of arrows, official sources told AFP.

Contact with several tribes on the islands, set deep in the Indian Ocean, is illegal in a bid to protect their indigenous way of life and shield them from diseases.

Police have registered a case of murder and seven accused persons have been arrested.

“The investigation in this matter is on,” senior police officer Deepak Yadav said in a press release.

Chau had made several trips to the Andaman islands recently before finally managing to make it to the remote stretch by offering money to local fishermen.

“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 dingy midway and took a canoe all by himself to the island,” sources said.

“He was attacked by arrows but he continued walking. The fishermen saw the tribals tying a rope around his neck and dragging his body.

“They were scared and fled but returned next morning to find his body on the sea shore.”

The Andamans are also home to the 400-strong Jarawa tribe who activists say are at threat from outsiders, who often bribe local authorities to spend a day out with them.

But tribes such as the Sentinelese shun all contact with the outside world and are known to be hostile to any encroachers.

The North Sentinel island is out of bounds even to the Indian navy in a bid to protect its reclusive inhabitants who number only about 150.

It’s unfortunate he died, but he had no business messing with that tribe in the first place.


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John Allen Chau, a US citizen who was reported missing after traveling to North Sentinel Island near India as a Christian missionary, was shot and killed by arrows from a remote tribe after he tried to illegally approach and befriend them. The Sentinelese tribe are the only occupants of the island and remain completely disconnected from the outside world. It is illegal to visit there. Chau was taken to the island by a group of fisherman, who said they last saw him alive on Nov. 16, and the next day “saw a dead body being dragged and getting buried” near the shore. The fishermen have since been arrested, but it is unlikely the Sentinelese, who are a tribe of about 100 hunter-gatherers, will face any charges. Police say they are trying to recover Chau’s body. [?: AP, John Chau/@buzzfeednews]

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John Chau was shot and killed by arrows while attempting to reach the remote Sentinelese tribe in the Andaman Islands in India to teach them about Jesus Christ, a mission he told friends about 2 years ago. Chau's friend, John Middleton Ramsey, told BuzzFeed News he was sad to hear about Chau's death, but said “It’s not like I was like completely surprised. I had known about his plans and I knew about the dangers.” Ramsey also said Chau knew visiting the island was illegal. Chau had made a “scouting” trip to the Andaman Islands to make contacts with local Christians two years ago: "He had a passion for reaching them with Christ," Ramsey said. “I encouraged him and said if that’s what God is calling him to do, then I was very much behind it.” Ramsey says he hopes his friend is "remembered as a martyr. Someone who put his faith first and was willing to die for it." [?: AP, John Chau/ @buzzfeednews]

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