A&N admin to serve notice to TV channels

Port Blair: The Andaman and Nicobar administration today said that it would serve legal notice on two Delhi-based TV channels telecasting a video footage showing a group of tribal women being ordered to dance for tourists by a policeman.

British newspaper, 'The Guardian' and 'The Observer', a weekly, had released video footage of police involvement in 'human safaris' in the Andaman Islands. The videos were recently aired on the two Delhi-based channels.

The policeman had allegedly taken a bribe of 200 GBP to take tourists into the protected Jarawa reserve.

While Andaman and Nicobar police remained tight-lipped about the incident, administration sources said that legal notice would be served on the two TV Channels regarding this matter as the footage was one-sided and they had not taken the version of administration or cross-checked with it.

The sources said the administration was "totally against Jarawa tourism" but ruled out closure of the Andaman Trunk (ATR) road ordered by the Supreme Court a decade ago to protect the Jarawa habitat. The road cuts through South Andaman where the Jarawa reserve is located, linking Port Blair with Diglipur in North Andaman.

The official said any decision on closure of the road, the lifeline of the Middle and North Andamans, would take time as it was a policy decision but said an alternative route via sea was being chalked out to bypass the Jarawa reserve.

A Supreme Court ruling in 2002 on the Shekhar Singh Commission report had ordered closure of the ATR road to protect the Jarawas.