Wednesday, November 21, 2018

American missionaries, adventurers killed by tribesmen on a remote and limited island

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By Alastair Jamieson, Elisha Fieldstadt and the Associated Press

An American adventurer who kayak to a remote island in tribal India known for shooting outsiders with bows and arrows has been killed, police said Wednesday. Officials say they are working with anthropologists to restore the body.

John Allen Chau, 27, was identified as a victim by Jeff King, president of the International Christian Concern, based in Washington, D.C. Chau is not part of a non-profit organization, but he said that the missionaries traveled in missionary groups and other adventurers....
John Chau in undated photo.via Facebook
"My understanding is that he was there to bring Christianity to this remote tribal group," Raja said. "If you believe, your worldview is that people who are not believers are lost and that their only hope is Jesus."

Police officer Vijay Singh said the killings appeared to occur on Saturday on North Sentinel Island, part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Sentinels are resistant to outsiders and often attack anyone who approaches, and visits to the island are severely limited by the government.

The king said that Chau might have read about the tribe and how they reacted to outsiders, but "people understood risk and some were willing to risk their lives."

Dependera Pathak, director of police general in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India, said seven fishermen had been arrested for helping America reach North Sentinel Island.

Chau was apparently shot and killed by an arrow, but the cause of death could not be confirmed until his body recovered, Pathak told The Associated Press.

Chau arrived in the area on October 16 and stayed at the hotel while he prepared to take a trip to the island. It was not the first time in the region: he visited the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in 2015 and 2016, Pathak said. North Sentinel is in the Andaman Islands at the intersection of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.

Chau arranged for his visit to the island through a friend who rented seven fishermen for $ 325 to take him there by boat, which also carried kayak, Pathak said.
The Americans landed in a kayak on November 15 and sent a boat with fishermen out to sea to avoid detection, said Pathak. He interacts with several tribes, offering gifts such as soccer and fish. However, the tribespeople became angry and shot arrows at him, hitting a book he was carrying, said Pathak.

Having seems broken, Chau swim back to the fishing boat, waiting at a prearranged location. He spent the night writing about his experience in the pages of which he gave to the fisherman, says Pathak. He left again to meet the tribespeople on November 16.

What happened then is unknown. But the next morning, the fishermen are waiting to watch from afar when the tribe dragged Chau. They went to Port Blair, capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, where they break the news to a friend Chau, who in turn told her family, said Pathak.

Police charged seven fishermen were endangering American lives by bringing them into the forbidden area.

Chau had lived in Oklahoma, where he attended Oral Roberts University, and in the southwestern state of Washington, where he studied at Vancouver Christian High School. Phone messages left with several relatives were not immediately returned on Wednesday.


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