John Allen Chau 'tribal killing': Family forgives killers

John Allen Chau 'tribal killing': Family forgives killers

John Allen Chau 'tribal killing': Family forgives killers

For thousands of years, the people of North Sentinel Island have been isolated from the rest of the world.

The Sentinelese have been known to attack anyone who approaches the island.

Police investigating the apparent killing of an American by an isolated island tribe off the coast of India said they have surveyed the island by air and have carefully visited the area to identify where the man died.

An American tourist named John Allen Chau was killed by a tribe on a remote island in the Andaman Islands earlier this week. The letters showed that while some members of the Sentinelese tribe were friendly, others were threatening.

Chau also said in the blog: "I definitely get my inspiration for life from Jesus". "He loved God, life, helping those in need, and had nothing but love for the Sentinelese people".

John Allen Chau, 26, of Vancouver Washington, an Instagram adventurer who also led missionary trips overseas, traveled to the Andaman Islands - an Indian territory in the Bay of Bengal - this month to make contact with members of the tiny Sentinelese tribe, police said.

It may be recalled that these people had shot arrows at the helicopters of the Coast Guard, when they were trying to assess the situation during the 2004 Tsunami.

They are the most isolated among the native tribal groups that inhabit the Andaman islands and are protected by Indian laws which ban any contact with the indigenous people. He returned to a fishermen's boat and spent the night writing about his experiences before going back to the island the next day - and getting killed.

The fishermen stayed away, but Chau chose to venture deep into the jungle. The source said Chau had taken scissors, safety pins and a football as gifts to the tribe to try and establish a rapport.

Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Covenant Journey, a programme that takes college students on a tour of Israel to affirm their Christian faith, told the Associated Press Mr Chau went through that programme in 2015.

The sole inhabitants of North Sentinel Island, around the size of Manhattan, guard their territory fiercely. He came back later that day with arrow injuries.

The next morning they saw his body being dragged across a beach and buried in the sand, the police chief said, adding: "This was a misplaced adventure in a highly protected area". Police are in possession of 13 pages of notes Chau had scribbled and handed over to the fishermen before he rowed to the island. They are now having trouble recovering his body.

The latter book "inspired my brother and I to paint our faces with wild blackberry juice and tramp through our backyard with bows and spears we created from sticks", Chau said.

Chau, 26, was from southwestern Washington state, where he attended Vancouver Christian High School. During graduation, Chau was an active participant in the university's mission and outreach programmes.

A day after the news was discovered, a letter from him to his family was also found where he stated, "You guys might think I am insane in all this but I think it's worth it to declare Jesus to these people".

North Sentinel is home to the Sentinelese people, believed to number only around 150.

"The Indian government has adopted an "'eyes-on and hands-off' policy to ensure that no poachers enter (North Sentinel Island)", according to India's Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

Local media have reported that Mr Chau may have wanted to meet the tribe to preach Christianity to them. A murder case has been registered and the fishermen who took him there illegally have also been arrested.

He said in the release that despite knowing fully well about the illegality of the action and the hostile attitude of the Sentinelese tribesmen to the outsiders, these people collaborated with Chau for this visit to North Sentinel Island without any permission from the authorities. They burst out laughing most of the time, so they probably were saying bad words or insulting me. Another trip was planned on November 22.

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