John Allen Chau's body was found on North Sentinel Island in the Bay of Bengal in November 2018. (Photo: Instagram)
Indian police plan to send a summons to two US nationals in connection with the death of an alleged Christian missionary.
John Allen Chau's body was found on a beach of North Sentinel Island in the Bay of Bengal with arrow wounds on Nov. 17, 2018.
Indian laws prohibit visitors to the island to protect the existence and identity of the tribal people, who reportedly have low immunity. The Sentinelese people, one of the world's most primitive tribes, are known to resist outsiders and often attack those who go near their island.
“As far as the Catholic Church in Andaman is concerned, the case was closed the same year because no one is sure whether Chau was a Christian missionary or an American tourist,” Father Visuvasam Selvaraj, administrator of the Diocese of Port Blair, told UCA News.
“We are not sure if he was in any way connected with missionary or mission work. The initial reports by media said that he was a tourist and was here for some research work.
“If the Andaman police are trying to send a summons and open the case, it is up to them. Let’s hope that the investigation team succeed in solving the case.”
Two American nationals, Bobby Parks and another identified only as Christian, were with 27-year-old Chau in Port Blair, the capital city of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, before Chau visited North Sentinel Island.
All three Americans belonged to the All Nations Church, an evangelical group based in Kansas City. Parks and Christian will be asked to provide statements.
The Sentinelese people have refused any form of contact with outsiders. Officials were attacked in 2016 when they tried to retrieve the bodies of two fishermen who were killed by islanders when the tide took their boat to the prohibited island.
Police said that local fishermen and some of Chau’s acquaintances have said that Chau was hesitant to visit the island but was persuaded to go there.
Chau was in India on a tourist visa but was aware of the island’s protected status.
Nabore Ekka, president of Jharkhand Adivasi Sangharsh Morcha, told UCA News that “people must respect the government direction when visiting the island. Tourists should not venture into the restricted area.”