Government should protect Sentinelese in their own environment,says expert

News: A research paper has argued that the Sentinelese tribe should be protected by the government in its own environment and chosen circumstances. 


About Sentinelese tribe:

  • The Sentinelese are a negrito tribe who live on the North Sentinel Island of the Andaman.
  • Based on carbon dating by the Anthropological Survey of India, Sentinelese presence was confirmed in the islands to 2,000 years ago.


  • The Sentinelese are hunter-gatherers, likely using bows and arrows to hunt and more rudimentary methods to catch local seafood.
  • It is known that the Sentinelese speak their own language, the Sentinelese language.
  • Currently,their numbers are believed to be less than 150 and as low as 40.

Protection under law:

  • The Sentinelese and other aboriginal tribes of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands are protected under The Andaman and Nicobar (Protection of Aboriginal Tribes) Regulation,1956
  • The entire North Sentinel Island including the coastal sea extending up to 5 Kms has been declared as Tribal Reserve.
  • Government has also prohibited entry of all persons except those with authorisation.
  • Further,photography or filming the tribe members is also an offence.But restricted area permits were relaxed for some islands recently.

Why are they protected?

  • Sentinelese have been hostile to outside contact.They have been mostly left alone even from colonial times unlike other tribes such as the Onges, Jarawas and Great Andamanese,because the land they occupy has little commercial attraction.
  • Further,having lived in isolation,the Sentinelese have no immunity or resistance to even the commonest of infections.

Additional information:

Restricted Area Permit:

  • Restricted Area Permit(RAP) regime was notified under the Foreigners (Restricted Areas) Order, 1963.
  • Under it,foreign nationals are not normally allowed to visit protected or restricted area unless Government is satisfied that there are extraordinary reasons to justify their visit.
  • Every foreigner, except citizens of Bhutan who desires to enter and stay in protected or restricted area is required to obtain special permit from competent authority having power to issue such permits to foreigners, seeking it.
  • However,the citizens of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign nationals of Pakistani origin are an exception and are not allowed to enter such areas.