PORT BLAIR: International pressure is mounting on Andaman and Nicobar administration to call of efforts to retrieve the body of John Allen Chau from North Sentinel island as many strongly believe that such efforts might prove disastrous for the tribal inhabitants of the island.
In a joint statement Pankaj Sekhsaria, member of Kalpavriksh and author, ‘Islands in Flux – the Andaman and Nicobar Story; Vishvajit Pandya, anthropologist and author; Manish Chandi, senior researcher, Andaman and Nicobar Environment Team; Zubair Ahmed, editor, Light of Andamans, Port Blair; Denis Giles, editor, Andaman Chronicle, Port Blair; Madhusree Mukerjee, researcher, activist and author, and Sita Venkateshwar, anthropologist and author on Tuesday said that they noted with concern and distress the continued efforts of the A&N administration to retrieve the body of John Allen Chau from the island of North Sentinel.
“The rights and the desires of the Sentinelese need to be respected and nothing is to be achieved by escalating the conflict and tension, and worse, to creating a situation where more harm is caused,” the joint statement said. The statement added that they were not aware of any pressures under which the Government of India and the A&N administration was pursuing to retrieve the body.
Meanwhile, Survival International’s Director Stephen Corry on Tuesday issued a statement which says, “We urge the Indian authorities to abandon efforts to recover Chau’s body. Any such attempt is incredibly dangerous, both for the Indian officials and also for the Sentinelese, who face being wiped out if any outside diseases are introduced.”
International NGO says ‘stay off’
Survival International said Chau’s body should be left alone, as should the Sentinelese. The weakening of the restrictions on visiting the islands must be revoked, and the exclusion zone around the island properly enforced, it said