NAC discusses steps to protect Jarawas

New Delhi: Concerned over the controversial video footage on the Jarawas, a panel headed by Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday regretted the exploitation of tribal women in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

A meeting of the National Advisory Council (NAC) also discussed briefly the steps to be taken to protect the "vulnerable" group.

The committee "briefly discussed" about the primitive tribal group who are threatened with extinction and "regretted" the exploitation of them in "beastly condition" as exposed in a video footage, a source told PTI.

It also discussed the steps to be taken to protect the "vulnerable" Jarawas, sources said.

However, the committee did not take any policy decision in today's meeting as model code of conduct for assembly elections in five states is in place, sources said.

The Centre has already ordered an inquiry by the chief secretary and director general of police of Andaman & Nicobar Islands into the video footage showing semi-naked Jarawa tribal women allegedly being ordered to dance before tourists in return for food.

In 2006, the previous NAC had constituted a sub-group of experts to suggest an action plan for protection and preservation of the Jarawas.

Welfare of the Jarawas was revived for discussion in the meeting of the NAC last year in which their current status was reviewed in consultations with the ministries concerned and the Andaman Island administration.

The NAC also discussed several other issues which include a national programme for homeless and social security scheme for unorganised workers, the sources said.