Lonely Planet Writer

India to decide if state law overrides mandate to protect 'uncontacted' Jawara tribe from outside interference?

A murder involving the ‘uncontacted’ Jawara tribe in India, has left law enforcement officials with a tricky conundrum.

South Andaman.
South Andaman, home to the Jawara ‘uncontacted’ tribe. Image by Sankara Subramanian / CC BY 2.0

Described as a paleolithic people, the Jawara live in almost total isolation on the island of South Andaman, and the government is committed to preserving the culture and traditional way of life of the Jawara by preventing almost all contact with the outside world.

Now, for the first time, witnesses have come forward to police to report the murder of a child, allegedly killed because one parent came from outside the Jawara tribe, leaving police with a difficult decision – should they arrest a Jawara suspect under laws that the Jawara people are unaware of, for something that is not a crime in Jawara society? The police and government are now seeking legal advice on whether Indian law overrides the mandate to protect the Jawara from outside interference.

Read more: timesofindia.indiatimes.com