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Updated: January 12, 2012 01:30 IST

Centre seeks report on Jarawa video

Special Correspondent
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Members of the Jarawa community in the Andaman islands. File photo: Special Arrangement
Members of the Jarawa community in the Andaman islands. File photo: Special Arrangement

The Central government has demanded a report from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands administration after outrage erupted over a video released by a British newspaper allegedly showing Jarawa tribal women in the islands being bribed to dance for tourists.

The Central government has demanded a report from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands administration after outrage erupted over a video released by a British newspaper allegedly showing Jarawa tribal women in the islands being bribed to dance for tourists.

The Observer, a Sunday paper that belongs to the Guardian Media Group, claims that the video shows a local policeman ordering the semi-clad Jarawa women to dance after bribing them with food. The Union Territory administration has hit back, denying that a policeman was involved, insisting that the video is not recent, and threatened action against the unknown videographer.

In the video posted on the newspaper's website, there seem to be several voices telling the women to dance, but none of them is visible on-screen, as the camera remains focussed on the women. In its rebuttal, the administration insists that it is not a member of the Andaman police.

“The video under reference has been in circulation on the Internet for some time… The Administration is committed to prosecuting anybody breaking the law and would not spare any effort to see the guilty are brought to book,” it said in a statement.

Union Tribal Affairs Minister V. Kishore Chandra Deo told PTI that the government had ordered an inquiry by the Chief Secretary and the Director-General of Police of A&N islands. “This video-clipping, is not fresh and not of recent time. Apparently, people have seen it on the Internet for the last four or five years. So that is yet to be established. But the fact is that it is not something which has happened in the last few weeks or months,” he said.

Andaman DGP S.B. Deol said that whoever shot the video would face action. “It is obvious that it is the videographer who is breaking the law of the land and who is inciting the tribals to dance,” he said. The video is still available on The Guardian website, and has also been broadcast by Indian news channels.

The Jarawas are a hunter-gatherer tribe with about 400 members who live in the reserve forests of south Andaman and have only started interacting with outsiders since the late 1990s. With the Andaman Trunk Road running through the reserved forest, tourists travelling in convoys often run across members of the tribe.

In 2010, The Hindu reported that some tour operators were running human safaris, promising glimpses of the reclusive tribal people.

“Though interaction cannot be avoided since this is being done by the Jarawas on their own, strict vigil has been maintained to ensure that they are not exploited by others,” said an Administration statement.

Okay, so when will the official be punished (if at all), may be the 400
odd number is not so big in terms of votes. So no action I guess ?
Also these people are not of any religion or caste so no help from that
quarter as well.

from:  Vignesh B
Posted on: Jan 12, 2012 at 03:07 IST
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