The Union government has directed the Lt. Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands to take action for the exploitation of Jarawa tribal women, who were made to dance semi-nude before tourists.
Tribal Affairs Minister Krishna Chandra Deo told journalists that the Centre had directed the Lt. Governor to bring the culprits to book and enquire the circumstances in which the tribal women were subjugated to such abominable repression and prevent its recurrence.
Replying to a question, Mr. Deo said Congress president Sonia Gandhi was concerned about the deplorable incident. He said he had also talked to the Lt. Governor.
Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram is likely to visit the islands later in the month. Mr. Deo will follow suit in February to take stock of the situation.
He said his primary objective was to see to it that they were not exploited in any manner in the future.
Mr. Deo said the Chief Secretary and the DGP were personally monitoring the police action to nab the photographer who shot the video of the tribal women.
Stressing that it was not merely a law and order problem, Mr. Deo said their exploitation had to be prevented. The need was to treat them like fellow human beings and not aliens. He described the incident as “disgraceful and a shame on all of us.”
Underscoring that there were two strands of approach, Mr. Deo said he personally favoured their gradual inclusion in the mainstream rather than being kept in isolation.
There had to be a humane approach, Mr. Deo stressed saying he was in the process of a wider consultation before taking a view on this issue. Primarily the tribals would have to be taken into confidence before approaching those engaged in research work there and all those interested to be part of the process, he said.
It's a disgrace and shame on all of us, says Deo