Missionary dies in a hail of arrows on visit to tribe

Missionary dies in a hail of arrows on visit to tribe

When the US Embassy here was reached for a response, its spokesperson said, "We are aware of reports concerning a US citizen in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands".

Andaman & Nicobar Director General of Police (DGP) Dependra Pathak released a statement saying, "Access to the North Sentinel Island and its buffer zone is strictly restricted under Protection of Aboriginal Tribe (Regulation)-1956 and Regulations under the Indian Forest Act-1927".

"It's a hard case for the police", he said. "We have to see what is possible, taking utmost care of the sensitivity of the group and the legal requirements".

Officers are now consulting anthropologists, tribal welfare experts and scholars to figure out a way to recover Chau's body, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

"He loved God, life, helping those in need and had nothing but love for the Sentinelese people", the family said. According to The Post, "Chau's riveting journal of his last days shows a treacherous journey by dark in a small fishing boat to the area where the small tribe lived in huts".

On The Outbound Collective, Chau had posted about his overseas adventures, saying he loved "to explore, so whether it's trekking through dense old growth forests near the Chilliwack River (on the USA border with Canada), finding a rumored waterfall in the jungles of the Andamans, or just wandering around a city to get a feel for the vibes, I'm an explorer at heart".

The family of an American killed by isolated Indian tribesmen says it is forgiving those who did it.

On Father's Day previous year, Chau noted on Instagram that his father came to the U.S.as a refugee during China's Cultural Revolution.

In a Q&A for the wilderness adventure website the Outbound Collective, Mr Chau said he first fell in love with the outdoors as a child, when he read books like Robinson Crusoe and The Sign of the Beaver, a tale of a white boy who befriends a Native American boy after being abandoned in a cabin in 18th-century Maine. "I do not know what made this American visit the island, but this tribe has stayed in isolation for so long that I do not blame them for what they saw as an intrusion and a threat", said the professor.

"They are not immune to anything".

"What language they speak, how old it is, it's anybody's guess", Abbi said.

"Please do not be angry at them or at God if I get killed", he said.

But reluctant to give up, Mr Chau picked up his gifts and threw them to the tribe shooting at him before making his escape in a fisherman's boat.

That night, he wrote about his visit and left his notes with the fishermen. "Ever since high school, John wanted to go to North Sentinel to share Jesus with this indigenous people".

What happened then isn't known.

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".

Seven fishermen have been arr‌e‌ste‌d in connection with the death, but the Sentinelese who k‌‌ill‌e‌‌d Chau can't be held accountable as contact with the tribes on the islands is illegal. He told the fishermen on November 16 he would not come back from the island and instructed them to return home and pass on some handwritten notes he had made to a friend.

A statement issued by the police for the Andaman and Nicobar islands late Wednesday said the police and India's coast guard carried out an aerial survey of Northern Sentinel Island on Tuesday. Another trip was planned Thursday.

In Instagram posts and journals, Chau wrote that he found the remote Sentinel Island inspiring but frightening.

In 2006, 2 fishermen who strayed onto the island were killed and their bodies never recovered.

The family asked that local contacts not be prosecuted in the case.

In the last two years, Chau led several backpacking trips to Mount Adams in southwest Washington state for students at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Phone messages left with relatives were not immediately returned on November 21.

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