Can foreigner's body killed by ancient Andaman tribe be retrieved?

Christian Missionary Killed by Tribe on Remote Island off the Coast of India

Christian Missionary Killed by Tribe on Remote Island off the Coast of India

"I'm scared", wrote the 26-year-old American from Vancouver, Washington, who had traveled to the island on a clandestine mission to convert its inhabitants to Christianity. "Watching the sunset and it's lovely - crying a bit. wondering if it will be the last sunset I see".

His initial contacts with the Sentinelese, a tiny tribe of hunter-gatherers who reject contact with the outside world, had not gone well. The entry also shares how a child shot at him with an arrow that pierced his waterproof Bible.

"I'm scared", he wrote in a diary provided to The Washington Post by his mother. It has emerged that Chau, along with his friend Alexander and another local resident, had cut a deal with five fishermen to drop him off near North Sentinel Island.

The fishermen told police that they saw Chau's body being dragged across a beach and buried in the sand.

Some in the anthropology community have said it would be a futile exercise to try and retrieve Chau's body, among them tribal rights expert and author Pankaj Sekhsaria, who has written on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands area in the past. US diplomats are also in Port Blair to lend assistance. The region is home to five Stone Age tribes - which anthropologists believe to be the last of their kind and are dwindling in numbers.

His notes indicate that he knew the trip was illegal, describing how the small fishing vessel transported him to the isolated island under cover of darkness, evading patrols. Since then, the Sentinelese people are very adamant about being left alone and will violently react to anyone trying to visit the island and rightfully so.

Ten dead after boat capsizes in Lake Victoria
Over 200 people were killed in a Tanzanian ferry disaster in September, with officials saying it had been dangerously overcrowded. Police reports indicate that over 50 have been rescued on the capsised boat that docked off Saturday afternoon at 4:00 pm.

Chau's fateful expedition has caused widespread outrage in Hindu-majority India, where Christian evangelicals are often viewed with anger or suspicion.

"It's not just the risk of disease".

Officials said Mr Chau had visited the Andaman islands before - in 2015 and 2016.

It's not clear what happened to Chau when he swam back to the island the next morning.

Chau paid fishermen last week to take him near North Sentinel, using a kayak to paddle to shore and bringing gifts including a football and fish. A section of his diary is devoted to his impressions of the Sentinelese: He jotted down details of their language ("lots of high-pitched sounds") and gestures. He was fully aware of how violent the tribe reacted to his unwanted visit and made numerous attempts to reach the island which is roughly the size of Manhattan. Chau kept a journal of his travels on the days leading up to his untimely death, writing of how hostile the tribe was and that "You guys might think I'm insane in all this but I think it's worthwhile to declare Jesus to these people". "We also ask for the release of those friends he had in the Andaman Islands", the family said in their Instagram statement.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.