It sounded like a script from an Indiana Jones movie, but there was no ancient treasure to plunder; just death by Indian.
Local tribesmen in an isolated island off India surrounded and killed an American tourist for trespassing in their territory.
Police in India’s Andaman Islands said the tribes people shot the American tourist with bows and arrows for illegally venturing into their Island home.
Contact with the indigenous peoples of India’s Andaman Islands is forbidden to protect their way of life.
John Chau, 27, was surrounded and killed by tribal fighters, who fiercely defend their island paradise on the Andaman Sea according to local media.
The American tourist had paid local fishermen to ferry him to North Sentinel Island which is out of bounds even to the Indian navy in a bid to protect its reclusive inhabitants who number only about 150.
The Indigenous peoples of the Indian Ocean Islands live shielded from the outside world to protect them from 21st century diseases.
Most of the local inhabitants choose to stay isolated from the rest of the world and do not take kindly to intrusion from the outside.
Chau was showered with a hail of arrows as soon as his feet touched ground on the Island, police said;
“He was attacked by arrows but he continued walking. The fishermen saw the tribals tying a rope around his neck and dragging his body. They were scared and fled but returned next morning to find his body on the seashore.”
The Indian Police said further that the force had opened a murder investigation against the ‘unknown tribesmen’ and have arrested seven people so far in connection with the American’s death.
The fishermen who ferried the American told a pastor about the incident in the main town who in turn contacted his family in the US.
Official sources said, although Chau had a tourist visa to enter the Andamans, where access to some restricted zones is given, it is illegal to go within three miles (five kilometres) of North Sentinel Island.
Officials discovered that Chau had made several trips to other Andaman islands before offering money to fishermen to take him to North Sentinel.
According to local sources;
“He tried to reach Sentinel Island on November 14 but could not make it. Two days later he went well prepared. He left the dinghy midway and took a canoe by himself to the island.”
The Andaman Islands are also home to the 400-strong Jarawa tribe who activists say are threatened by contact from outsiders although tourists usually bribe local officials in a bid to be able to spend time with them.
Tribes such as the Sentinelese, who are believed to number about 150 people, shun all contact with the outside world and have a record of hostility to anyone who tries to get close.
Officials could not visit the Islands to ascertain the damage caused by the Tsunami that swept across the Indian Ocean in 2004 due to the hostility from the inhabitants.
A member of the tribe was photographed attempting to shoot down an Indian Coast Guard Helicopter with an arrow.