In a note to the press, the police said that they had taken along two of the accused who helped John access the secluded North Sentinel Island, to retrace the path.

Andaman cops 2nd expedition to North Sentinel John Chaus body yet to be retrieved
news Death Saturday, November 24, 2018 - 10:25

Days after John Allen Chau, an American missionary, was killed during an attempt to proselytize the isolated North Sentinelese tribe in the Andamans, the police are yet to retrieve his body.

In a press note released on Friday, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands police state that they had undertaken a second expedition to the North Sentinel Island.

“Moving further into the investigation of the killing of John Allen Chau, 27 years, an American citizen, a joint team consisting of officials from the police department, forest department, tribal welfare department and the Coast Guard conducted a second round of expedition to the North Sentinel Island. The team also took two alleged accused who are on police custody,” said the police.

The joint team left in the morning and returned by evening, in an attempt to ascertain the route Chau travelled on and the possible circumstances of his killing. Chau is feared to have been killed by the tribe who have previously made it clear that they do not want any contact with the outside world.

The police further informed, “Elaborate discussions on the possible circumstances that could have led to the killing of Chau were also held by the team. The arrested accused who accompanied the team had reportedly ferried Chau in their vessel to the North Sentinel Island for his fateful journey.”

While earlier reports had stated that John was last seen on November 16, the latest press note puts the date of John's death as November 17.

Seven people, including local fishermen, have been arrested by the police for helping ferry John to the shore of the North Sentinel Island.

According to extensive journal entries and a letter to his family, John wanted to 'declare Jesus’ to the tribe, who have lived uncontacted for over 60,000 years.

In a copy of his diary, accessed by the Washington Post, John mulled, “Lord, is this island Satan’s last stronghold where none have heard or even had the chance to hear your name?”

Reassuring the media that adequate safety measures were taken prior to the expedition, the press note said, “Since the Sentinelese are protected by law to preserve their way of life, due precautions were taken by the team to ensure that these particularly vulnerable tribal groups are not disturbed and distressed during this exercise.”

On whether the Sentinelese can be prosecuted for the killing, Andaman police said that they were going to consult experts and take legal advice on the matter. This has not happened previously, even when Sentinelese had killed two fishermen who were on a boat that had drifted into the tribals' territory in 2006. The fishermen were believed to be inebriated.

Senior police officials also met experts from Anthropological Survey of India(ASI) to understand these ultra-sensitive tribes from their worldview and to guide and assist the police in furtherance of the investigation, it said.

Read: Fear that John Chau may have exposed Andaman tribe Sentinelese to infections

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