‘Easing of norms not linked to death in Sentinel Island’

Relaxing the Restricted Area Permit (RAP) for foreigners visiting the Andaman and Nicobar Islands had “nothing to do with the killing of U.S. national John Allen Chau, the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a response in Parliament. The RAP is mandatory for foreign nationals visiting certain areas, including Andaman and Nicobar Islands.Chau was allegedly killed when he landed on North Sentinel Island in November. According to reports, fishermen who took the U.S. national to the ssland saw him being hit by arrows allegedly shot by members of Sentinalese tribes inhabiting the island. After the incident came to light, some activists raised a question as to why RAP norms to the island, including the North Sentinel Island, were relaxed.“30 islets in the Union Territory of Andaman & Nicobar Island, including North Sentinel Island were excluded from the Restricted Area Permit (RAP) regime till 31.12.2012 subject to certain conditions. However, separate approvals of the appropriate competent authorities would continue to be required for visiting Reserved Forests, Wildlife sanctuaries and Tribal reserves as is the case at present,” the reply pointed out. It further stated that the government can withdraw the relaxation at any time based on security considerations.

Source Link : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/easing-of-norms-not-linked-to-death-in-sentinel-island/article25810461.ece

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