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Home Ministry wants the incident to be probed
Andaman administration defends itself over tribals’ video
Tribune News Service

dance for food

The video released by British newspaper ‘Observer’ showed semi-naked women from the endangered Jarawa tribe dancing for food before tourists on human safaris organsied illegally in the remote parts of the Islands.

New Delhi, January 11
Even as the Andaman Nicobar Island administration today chose to defend itself over a video of tribal women being forced to dance semi-naked before tourists, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has ordered a probe into the shocking incident.

The islands, being a Union Territory, are directly controlled by the MHA. The shocking video released by British newspaper ‘Observer’ showed semi-naked women from the endangered Jarawa tribe dancing for food before tourists on human safaris organised illegally in the remote parts of the Islands. The tribe has had no contact with the outside world for thousands of years. Any contact with them is strictly forbidden. Clicking their photographs is strictly banned. The government has banned people travelling on the road to even stop their vehicles on seeing the Jarawa tribe.

Union Home Secretary RK Singh has asked the authorities on the Islands to probe the veracity of the video showing women from the tribe, who have inhabited the Andaman Islands for thousands of years.

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands administration was quoted by news agencies as having said that media reports were ‘irresponsible’.

The administration said it was not clear in which year the video clip was recorded, however, it was amply clear that the person alleged to have asked the women to dance was not a policeman.

"Most of the Jarawas do not wear clothes. Even today those in the jungle are not clothed. It is also obvious that it is videographer (who is breaking the law of the land) and who is inciting them to dance,” a statement of the state police said. It is amply evident that the person alleged to be a policeman is not a policeman as has been widely and erroneously reported, the statement added.

London-based daily Observer, which had claimed in its report that a policeman had taken bribe to make the tribals, especially women, dance naked, has also been asked to apologise to the local police 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."

Home Minister P. Chidambaram during his pre-scheduled visit to the Islands will take up the issue with the local administration.

Meanwhile, terming the incident "obnoxious and disgusting", Tribal Affairs Minister V. Kishore Chabdra Deo told TV channels that people responsible for such acts should be punished. “It is disgraceful if something like this is happening. It ... cannot be pardoned. It deserves exemplary punishment," Deo said.





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