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Killing of American by Andaman tribe not a failure of coastal security: Navy chief

Killing of American by Andaman tribe not a failure of coastal security: Navy chief

New Delhi : Indian Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba rejected the idea that the death of John Allen Chau, an American tourist who killed by a protected tribe on an island in the Andamans, was an example of a failure in India's coastal security.

Lanba, while addressing his annual press conference, said that he did not see Chau's death as a failure of the coastal security construct. Chau came to the Andamans and had the required permissions to be there, Lanba also said, adding that the American's killing is being investigated by the police.

John Allen Chau was killed on the North Sentinel Island sometime in the third week of November. Chau had gone to the island with the goal of preaching Christianity to the Sentinelese, a protected tribe that is known to reject outside contact, sometimes violently.

Local police has said that Chau went to the island illegally. The Indian Navy and the Coast Guard are known to carry out routine patrols to restrict people from going near the North Sentinel Island.

Seven people -- all locals -- have been arrested by the Andaman and Nicobar Police for helping Chau visit the North Sentinel Island.

Chau's death made international headlines and renewed the debate on the importance of leaving protected tribes alone.

The bow and arrow-wielding Sentinelese are among the last 'uncontacted people' in the world. They are believed to have migrated from Africa around 60,000 years ago.

The Sentinelese, who survive by hunting, gathering or basic fishing, have been known to reject outside contact.

In 2006, the tribe killed two Indian fishermen who had accidentally landed on the coast.

Earlier in 2004, a tribe member was famously photographed attempting to shoot an arrow at a Coast Guard helicopter that had flown over the North Sentinel Island to check if the tribe was fine in aftermath of the devastating 2004 tsunami.

The 2011 Census of India counted just 15 Sentinelese on the island. However, the number could be higher since the census was done from a distance. For the fear of an arrow.