PORT BLAIR/NEW DELHI: The Centre on Wednesday ordered a probe into the video footage showing semi-naked Jarawa tribal women in Andaman and Nicobar Islands allegedly being ordered to dance before tourists in lieu of food.
The Ministry of Home Affairs ordered Chief Secretary Shakti Sinha and DGP (Andaman and Nicobar Islands) S B Deol to look into the matter. “I have asked him (Shakti Sinha) to conduct an inquiry and ensure that no such incident takes place in future,” Home Secretary R K Singh told reporters here.
Deol said that the video was a decade old and was shot sometime in 2002. He, however, said that the shooting of the video was in violation of norms and strict action will be taken against the videographer.
“It is obvious that it is the videographer who is breaking the law of the land and inciting the tribals to dance,” Deol said.
“The ‘Observer’, London may be asked to apologise to the A & N Police and to disclose the name of the videographer, so that legal action could be initiated against him for recording such a scene and worse still releasing it for further publicity to the media and thereby lowering the dignity of the members of the Jarawa tribe,” Deol said. Meanwhile, the MHA has sent video clipping for technical examination to find out how old it is.
The Andaman and Nicobar police has launched a hunt to trace out the source of the video. “We are trying to establish the source of the video. Every news channel is quoting Survival International, a London based NGO as its source but we are trying to find out how they got this and who has shot the video. Once source is traced necessary action will be taken,” SP (South Andaman) SBS Tyagi told ‘Express’.
“We also want to clarify that no policeman is involved in this, which is clearly visible in this video but still various news channels are showing that policemen took bribe for Jarawa Tourism,” Tyagi added.
Deol also raised doubt over the functioning of Survival International as the NGO from time to time raises such issues. “This is because they collect vast donations in the name of protecting the primitive tribes of the world. What work they actually do is a mystery. The Director Stiphen Cowry and other such employees of the NGO have taken it upon themselves to draw fat salaries and benefits from funds donated for primitive tribes. It is obvious that funds are low and have to be stimulated by such sensational lies,” Deol said. However, political parties are smelling rat in this complete issue. “The timing of releasing this old video to media raises doubts. At present, people here are protesting to keep the Andaman Trunk Road open, this video was released by a group to put pressure on the government to close down the ATR, the life line of Andaman,” BJP state unit president R Mohan said.