ST commission to take action on Jarawa videos

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New Delhi, July 7 (IANS) Taking suo-moto cognizance of “objectionable” videos and pictures of the protected Jarawa and other tribal communities of Andaman Islands on YouTube, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) on Friday said that it has initiated action on it.

The commission said that it has decided to take up the matter with the ministries of Home Affairs, External Affairs, Information and Broadcasting and Tribal Affairs apart from the Chief Secretary of Andaman and Nicobar islands for removal of these videos from social media platform YouTube, and initiate action against those who uploaded the clips.

As per the provisions of the Andaman and Nicobar Island (Protection of Aboriginal Tribes) Regulation, 1956 (PAT), the Andamanese, Jarawas, Onges, Sentinelese, Nicobarese and Shom Pens have been identified as “aboriginal tribes”.

The PAT has provisions for protection of these communities from outside interference. In 2012, penalty provisions for promoting tourism through advertisements related to aboriginal tribes was also introduced.

“Whoever enters these areas in contravention of the notification under section 7 (which prohibits entry into reserve areas) for taking photographs or making videos shall be punishable with imprisonment up to three years. Section 3 (i) (r) of the Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act) has also been invoked,” the commission said in a release.

The total tribal population of Andaman and Nicobar islands is about 28,077. Out of these, five tribal communities have a population below 500.

–IANS

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