‘New norms to protect Jarawa tribes in Andaman’



New Delhi: To provide greater protection to Jarawa tribes in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, government has initiated various measures including appointment of a nodal officer to check movement of vehicles and a new law to ban videography in tribal areas.

Replying to a question in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Home Affairs Mullappally Ramachandran said that an officer has been designated as Nodal officer in-charge to monitor all activities on a day-to-day basis on the Andaman Trunk Road passing through the Jarawa Reserve.

Besides, provisions to book for photography/videography in the tribal reserve has been included in the proposed amendment to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Protection of Aboriginal Tribes) Regulations, 1956, he said.

The Minister said the number of convoys have been reduced from 8 to 4 on each side on the Andaman Trunk Road which passes through Jarawa Reserve and notice has been issued to the general public and tour operators that immediate action will be taken against violators.

"The staff of Tribal Welfare Department and Andaman Adim Janjati Vikas Samiti (AAJVS) posted in the Jarawa Tribal Reserve has been asked to be extra cautious and keep vigil on the convoys passing through the Jarawa Reserve. Police has also provided better surveillance and escorts on the convoys to regulate any illegal activities," Ramachandran said.

The Minister said that action has been initiated for opening an alternate sea route to Baratang in order to properly check movement in tribal areas.

He was responding to a series of questions related to appearance of two different footage of Jarawa tribal women in the electronic media in January and February this year.

On the basis of the first video footage based on the report in the 'Observer' newspaper of the UK, the A & N administration had arrested two persons and sent them to judicial custody.

Whereas, departmental enquiry has been initiated against a police constable who appeared on the second video telecast in February and he has been placed under suspension for dereliction of duty.

PTI