Andaman Chronicle

The Daily Diary of the Islands

They Stole Sarees, Midi, Maxis, equipments and threatened to chop our heads off:Pradhan Tushnabad


Port Blair, Jan. 20: It was in the intervening night of 18th – 19th Jan. 2012 when nine male members of the Jarawa tribe attacked the villagers of Tushnabad. They stole whatever they could and threatened to chop the villagers’ head if they called the police. The statement comes from Mohan Halder, Pradhan of Tushnabad Panchayat.

“We have reported the matter to the Assistant Commissioner, Tribal Welfare and demanded his intervention”, Mohan tells the media during a press conference called by the Member of Parliament today evening.

The Jarawa travelled upto Templemeo and Manpur (villages in the panchayat) and looted many households. They stole 3 pieces of Sarees, 5 pieces of Shirts, 4 pieces of Pants, Children’s clothes, Towel, Dao, Phatu, Kulhari, Midi, Salwar, Maxi etc. he claimed.

“I have recorded the statements of the victims in my mobile phone and if the media wants it, I can share it with you”, the Pradhan said.

Adding to the Jarawa attack story, Mohan Halder briefed the media that on 12th of Jan. 2012 they had called an emergency gram sabha in the presence of The Assistant Commissioner, Tribal Welfare, Director of Anthropological Survey of India, and an Anthropologist from (ASI).

We demanded of cancellation of Buffer Zone Notification and advised to restrict the Buffer Zone beyond the Panchayat area. We also demanded for compensation for the Jarawa attacks and suggested that the Jarawa should civilize them, educate them and make them like the Nicobarese. We also placed a demand to lift restrictions imposed (reserve area) in the sea, Mohan explains.

We also raised the issue wherein 15 village youth were booked under PAT regulation on 7th Jan. 2012. How can the Police arrest our villagers when there is no demarcation to identify Buffer Zone, the Pradhan questioned.

The 15 villagers were arrested from Hiren Tikrey (Jarawa Reserve area) while the police was on patrolling. On being asked as to why the youth had ventured into the restricted Jarawa area, Mohan preferred not to answer. And to the question reports received by the media that the youth had gone to celebrate new year in the Jarawa Reserve, the Pradhan had no idea.