Fishermen Killed by Stone Age Tribe on Remote Island

Article excerpt

Byline: RICHARD SHEARS

TWO fishermen have been killed by one of the world's last Stone Age tribes after drifting onto their desert island.

Their bodies may never be recovered from their crude beach graves - because modern man has no safe way of reaching them.

The near-naked tribe which murdered the men have unleashed a volley of arrows and spears at helicopters which have hovered over the burial site on North Sentinel island, a tiny speck in the Indian Ocean.

Government officials, anthropologists and fishermen have failed for decades to set foot on the island, where the Sentinelese tribe - believed to number between 50 and 200 - are determined to live their primitive lives without interference from the outside world.

Even when rescuers in helicopters and boats approached the island after the 2004 tsunami to check on any casualties, they were met with arrows and spears and were forced to turn away.

So when fishermen Sunder Raj, 48, and Pandit Tiwari, 52, slumped into what is believed to have been a drunken stupor as their boat drifted towards the remote island, their fate was sealed.

When their vessel ran aground, the tribesmen rushed at it and killed the two men with spears, crude axes and clubs.

The scene would not have been so very different from the time, tens of thousands of years ago, when groups of primitive people made their way out of Africa by land and basic sea craft towards South East Asia, battling enemy tribes on the way.

According to other fishermen who were with Raj and Tiwari among a small fleet of boats, the two men dropped anchor, using a rock tied to a rope. Then they began a drinking session with home-made alcohol and fell into a deep sleep.

But the rope slipped off the rock and the open boat began to drift towards the island where no man dare set foot.

'As dawn came, the other fishermen tried to shout a warning to the men, to wake them up, warn them of the danger and get their boat away from there,' said Samir Acharya, head of an Indian conservation group. …