15 persons arrested for intruding into Jarawa areas

Port Blair: In separate incidents, 15 people have been arrested under provisions of the Protection of Aboriginal Tribes (PAT) Regulation, 1956 for intruding into Jarawa areas in the Andaman and Nicobar islands.

While six persons, all residents of Junglighat, were arrested from a fishing trawler near Bamboonallah, three mechanised fishing boats were intercepted at Hiren Tikery, Badabaalu and Havabill island and nine persons arrested, the police said today. The fishing trawler and the boats were also seized.

The operation was conducted by Ograbraj police station under the supervision of deputy superintendent of police Vinit Kumar since January 10, the police said.

During the intensive search of the long coast line area from Herbertabad to Hiren Tikri covering Jhaukona, Bada Balu, Lamba Balu, Bamboo Nallah and Hawa Bill Island, a commercial fishing trawler was sighted along the shore near Bamboo Nallah. After a long chase, the trawler was intercepted and the six persons were arrested.

During further search, three mechanized fishing boats and one non-mechanized oar boat were intercepted at three places and nine persons arrested. Meanwhile, the general public and fishermen have been cautioned not to venture into the Jarawa Reserve Forest Area which stretches up to 5 km on sea from the High Tide Line of Western Coast of Middle Andaman Area as it is a punishable offence under PAT Regulation.

According to reports, there are just 403 surviving members of the Jarawa tribe who live in reserve forests on South Andamans. The police said the arrests were not related to the video-clip controversy involving Jarawa women that erupted on Wednesday.