In the midst of official and non-governmental bodies visiting Andaman and Nicobar islands to investigate adventurer-evangelist John Allen Chau’s death at the hands of the Sentinelese, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has urged the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) to press for “severe judicial action” against evangelists operating in India.
“All Christian missionaries in India should be strictly warned not indulge in any kind of cultural encroachment to destroy the ancient and tribal cultures of these islands. Enforcement of missionary visa rule in these islands is important as most Christian missionaries come to India on tourist visa but do missionary work,” VHP’s letter, written by Partho Mondal, organising secretary of the VHP, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, said.
“Hindu organisations are not being allowed to work there freely. These conversions, being done systematically, need to be stopped as they are taking the tribals out of their natural lifestyles and making them vulnerable. It is also important to celebrate and remind these tribes of their own history of having vehemently fought European forces even before the first war of independence,” said NCST chairman Nand Kishore Sai who was part of the official delegation that visited the A&N islands this week.
Local daily Andaman Sheekha newspaper quoted sources to report that Chau “visited Andaman and Nicobar Islands five times in the past and had a strong desire to meet Sentinelese Tribes for preaching Christianity.”
John Allen Chau, 27, was killed with arrows shot by the protected Sentinelese tribe in Andaman and Nicobar island on attempting to enter their homeland. He had paid local fishermen Rs 25,000 to evade the patrolling teams of police, Coast Guard and Navy.
“They started on November 14 around 8 PM for the North Sentinel Island and reached there by midnight. The next day, Chau moved to shore using his kayak which he got towed with the fishing boat. After dropping him the fishermen fixed their timings and place to meet each other between the shoreline and their high sea fishing area,” said Dependra Pathak, DGP, Andaman and Nicobar Police, in a press release issued late Wednesday evening.