Police have arrested four fishermen who assisted American missionary John Allen Chau to visit a banned island in Andaman, where he was allegedly killed and buried by members of the Sentinelese tribe on their off-limits North Sentinel Island.
Outsiders, Indians and others are not allowed to visit this island.
Meanwhile, a note belonging to 27-year-old Chau has thrown more light on the indigenous people’s lives, indicating that he made the efforts to explore about them. The note has suggested the number of Sentinelese to be 250 while providing some details of their social hierarchy.
The note, titled “Observations”, was recovered by Andaman Police from possession of a fisherman who dropped him of at the island, S Jampo.
The note has been shared with anthropologists with a hope it might offer some clues to retrieve Chau’s body.
The North Sentinel island is at least three hours away by boat journey from the nearest village in Andaman.
Detailing how the Sentinelese speak, Chau, from Alabama in the United States, noted that they “make high pitched sounds… sounds such as the letters b, p, l and s.”
Nothing has been known of the language of the Sentinelese.
Chau, in his notes has guessed, that the tribesmen “probably exchanged a lot of insults” although the basis for this isn’t clear.
Meanwhile, Chau an adventurer who wished to bring religion to the islander, was not an anthropologist. His observations will have to be treated as that of an amateur’s.
Describing the North Sentinel Island beach, Chau wrote that the sand is white but coarse. The sea-bed leading up to the beach has mostly dead coral, he observed, but with a very clear bottom.
“There is an amazing surf beach at the entrance of the south part of the cove. Saw three perfect sets of 4-6 feet high swells ….” Chau’s note reads.
The note states that he tried some words used by the Jarawas, a tribe from South and Middle Andaman, but the Sentinelese did not seem to understand then.
Chau, the first outsider to have sneaked into the island in 12 years, also mentions about the topography of island in his note.