Abandon John Chau's body, Indian police urged

India has put on hold attempts to recover the body of missionary John Allen Chau, shot as he attempted to convert tribespeople on North Sentinel Island.

According to the BBC, it was done so as not to disturb the people on the isolated island following meetings with officials from police, tribal welfare, forest and anthropological departments.

John Allen Chau was killed on North Sentinel Island.

The North Sentinel islanders are one of the most isolated populations in the world and have no contact with outsiders. Coastguards patrol the island to deter landing, as they are highly vulnerable to disease.

The decision follows calls by groups including Survival International, whose director Stephen Corry said: 'Any such attempt is incredibly dangerous, both for the Indian officials, but also for the Sentinelese, who face being wiped out if any outside diseases are introduced.

'The risk of a deadly epidemic of flu, measles or other outside disease is very real, and increases with every such contact. Such efforts in similar cases in the past have ended with the Sentinelese attempting to defend their island by force.

'Mr Chau's body should be left alone, as should the Sentinelese.'

Corry also called for a recent weakening of restrictions on visiting the island to be revoked and for the exclusion zone around the island to be properly enforced.

Indian anthropologist T N Pandit, a former regional head for India's Ministry of Tribal Affairs who interacted with the tribe during the 1960s before the decision was taken to leave them in peace, told the Indian Express that the tribespeople should not be regarded as hostile. 'That is the incorrect way to look at it. We are the aggressors here. We are the ones trying to enter their territory.'

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