Andaman Administration Questioned over Alleged Exploitation of Jarawa Tribals

on January 11 2012 8:29 AM
Andaman’s Jarawa Tribes
There are roughly 400 Jarawa tribespeople left on the Andaman Islands, and tribal rights group Survival International believes unwanted contact could lead to their disappearance. ©Salomé/Survival International

Controversy over the involvement of local police in the alleged exploitation of a few Jarawa (an indigenous people) women on India's Andaman Island has led to the Ministry seeking reports from the island's administration.

A video release by The Observer showed a policeman accepting $300 as a bribe from tourists, to take them into the restricted reserve and force the natives to dance for them.

It is disgraceful if something like this is happening. It cannot be pardoned. It deserves exemplary punishment, Tribal Affairs Minister K.P. Singh Deo was quoted as saying, by a local news channel on Wednesday.

However, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands administration called the video highly irresponsible, saying the person forcing the women to dance was not a policeman.

It is amply evident that the person alleged to be a policeman is not a policeman as has been widely and erroneously reported, the state police said in a statement, according to a Press Trust of India (PTI) report.

It is obvious that it is (a) videographer who is breaking the law of the land and who is inciting them to dance, the statement added.

The police have also sought for an apology from the London-based The Observer and to name the videographer so that legal action could be initiated against him for recording and releasing the video thereby lowering the dignity of the members of Jarawa tribe.

Read more on the story: Andaman's Jarawa Tribes Treated as 'Circus Ponies' in Police Presence; Threat From Illegal Tourism Palpable

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