- John Allen Chau, the American missionary who died while visiting the isolated Sentinelese people earlier this month, appeared to know he might die.
- He wrote in a final letter, “Don’t retrieve my body,” The New York Times reported.
- Police are currently struggling to get his body from the islanders, who have responded in a hostile manner.
- Officials are trying to figure out “what kind of friendly gesture we can make” to them.
John Allen Chau, the 26-year-old American who was killed by an isolated Indian tribe earlier this month, warned in a final letter before his death, “Don’t retrieve my body.”
Chau illegally visited North Sentinel Island on November 15 and returned on November 16. On the morning of November 17, the fishermen Chau had paid to take him near the island saw members of the Sentinelese tribe burying Chau’s body on the beach.
Chau appeared to know that his trip to the isolated island was perilous and illegal.
It’s not clear who the letter was addressed to.
He wrote in one of his final diary entries, “God, I don’t want to die.” He also claimed that God had shielded him from Indian authorities, who would have stopped him from going to the island.
Police are currently struggling to retrieve his body, and when officers attempted to visit the island over the weekend, they saw a group of Sentinelese people lining up along the beach aiming their bows towards them.
Visiting the island is highly dangerous, and even government officials from the neighbouring Andaman and Nicobar Islands don’t go there.
Foreigners are banned from visiting the island to protect the Sentinelese way of life and avoid exposing them from illnesses like the flu and measles.
Regional police chief Dependra Pathak told the Associated Press on Monday: “They are a treasure. We cannot go and force our way in. We don’t want to harm them.”
“We are consulting anthropologists to see what kind of friendly gesture we can make,” he added.
Chau appeared keen to bring Christianity to the island. On his first trip to the island on November 15, he said that he “hollered, ‘My name is John, I love you and Jesus loves you,'” he wrote in his final diary.
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