South Andaman: American Tourist John Allen Chau believed to be murdered by an isolated Tribe- Sentinelese people on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands was a member of US-based Christian missionary organization.
The Police are now probing whether Mr Chau was actually sent to introduce Christianity to the Sentinelese people who remain the only last uncontacted tribe in the world.
Investigation into the incident revealed Mr Chau was in regular contact with the Kansas-based organization, All Nations, through handwritten notes.
The evidence also includes the confession of one of the people accused of helping him sneak into the island on November 17.
Chau in this notes has written about his interaction with the tribe and asked a contact to hand over his diary to an American woman from Tennessee so that she could forward the update to “ALL NATIONS”.
Though All Nations knew about Chau’s interaction and improvements on the mission, this is the first time details of his note to the organization are being published.
Initial investigations revealed that ‘All Nations’ was assumed to be a generic reference to ‘other countries’ but later probing the matter revealed that it was, in fact, referring to the Christian Missionary that Chau was a part of.
One of the investigators said the note and all these evidence show that Chau was in touch with them during his time in Andaman.
One of the persons arrested in connection with the case said Chau referred to him as ‘A’ in his notes.
The person is a resident of Port Blair is named as Alexander who told the Police that Chau was a Missionary member.
Alexander also said two other US citizens the 53-year-old Tennessee woman and a 25-year-old man from Colorado both from the same group have previously held several meetings with Chau at a ‘safehouse’ in Andaman between November 5 and 10 before Chau was killed.
These two people were trying to “encourage” Chau in contacting the tribe, he told.
“Alexander, who helped Chau get in touch with the fishermen, confessed that Chau and the two US nationals held meetings in his house, discussing their plans of entering the prohibited North Sentinel Island,” the officer said.
The Americans had already left a day before Chau was originally supposed to go to the island on November 11 after encouraging him to approach the tribe.
It is a 50km boat ride in the Indian Ocean that takes about three hours from the nearest village.
But Indian laws to do not permit anyone to enter within 10 kms of the island where the tribe lives.
“Chau stayed in a hotel where the tariff is about Rs1,600. After checking out, he also stayed at Alexander’s house. It is possible he was given money by someone to pay (Rs 25,000) the fishermen to take him to the island,” the officer said.
There is no mention of money in Chau’s notes said the officer.
When HT contacted the All Nations, the group responded on Thursday and sent a statement condoning the death of Chau and said it is in “contact with the US state department and continue to cooperate fully with international, national and regional officials”.
The statement was issued by Jennifer Baldridge of All Nations, confirmed that Chau was one of its missionaries but it did not say whether Chau was sent on a mission to meet the tribe and introduce Christianity to them.
In the statement, the group described itself as an “international Christians Mission Sending and Training Organisation, committed to preparing Christians to share the gospel and establishing churches in parts of the world where the name of Jesus Christ is little or not known”.
Things are still unclear said the Police. They are still searching for Chau’s mobile phone and other belongings which the investigators believe Chau has hidden somewhere on the island before meeting the tribe.
Alexander told the police that Chau had been to India three times in the past that is twice in the year 2016 and once in January 2018).