U.N. urged to get India to close Andaman Trunk Road

British rights activists on Thursday urged the United Nations to press India to close the Andaman Trunk Road that runs through the Jarawa tribal reserve in order to end “human safaris” in the Andaman Islands.

In a letter to the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) ahead of a crucial meeting in Geneva, campaign group Survival International said that despite growing national and international pressure India had still not implemented the 2002 Supreme Court order on closing the road.

“India ignored the U.N.'s call in 2007 to implement the 2002 order of the Indian Supreme Court to close sections of the Andaman Trunk Road, thereby allowing the exploitation of the Jarawa tribe to continue,” it said, calling for the U.N. to “speak up for a second time”.

It pointed out that its call had cross-party support from British MPs and members of European Parliament planned to raise the issue with the European Union's Foreign Affairs Representative.

‘Situation serious'

“All eyes are on India and what it will do next. Closing the road is not about isolating the Jarawa, but upholding their right to control their own land and choose if, and how, they interact with outsiders. Far from meddling in India's affairs, Britain, Europe and the U.N.'s concern shows the gravity of the situation, and the need to respect human rights by closing the road,” said SI Director Stephen Corry.

Parliamentary motion

Recently, British MPs signed a parliamentary motion expressing concern over reports that tourists were taken in coaches to goggle at members of the Jarawa tribe, who were treated like attractions in a “human safari park.” This followed a video released by The Observer purporting to show that police and army officials were involved in “human safaris” despite official denials.

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Printable version | Oct 18, 2021 2:13:30 PM |

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