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'Shocking' video of Andaman tribe sparks row


Priyanka Dube,CNN-IBN
Jan 11, 2012 at 09:14pm IST

New Delhi: A British newspaper, 'The Observer' has set off a storm, releasing a video which shows members of the protected Jarawa tribe partially naked, made to dance for tourists in the Andaman Islands. The Centre has ordered an enquiry but the local administration downplayed the issue saying it was taken at a time when laws for protecting the tribes were not so stringent.

The report claims that the voice in the video who forces the Jarawa women to dance is that of a policeman who was allegedly bribed by tourists.

Denis Giles, Editor, Andaman Chronicle, says, "This clearly indicates that it has been shot by using a video phone and at that time there were no high end phones in Andamns. I had also reported about these incident in my paper but nothing happened then."

The video has now created a storm given that Jarawas are strictly protected by law and a red faced government has set up an inquiry.

V Kishore Chandra S Deo, Tribal Affair Minister, said, "I have been receiving reports of human safaris. I have asked for a report, will certainly take action." The Home Ministry has now asked for a report too.

DGP Andaman Island said, "There is no police officer involved in it. It is also obvious that it is the videographer who is inciting them to dance. The video seems to be dated back to 2002."

But whether this video is new or not, what seems clear is one of India's last indigenous tribes isn't being protected as it should be.

The Andaman trunk road the video shows itself was ordered closed by the Supreme Court more than ten years ago and anthropologists working in the area say the jarawas are often seen interacting with tourists warning that this tribe numbering approximately 400 and its way of life is in danger of fading out.

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