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Ministry of Home Affairs

Sentinelese Tribe

Posted On: 05 FEB 2019 5:31PM by PIB Delhi

The Government  has promulgated various laws/regulations from time to time to ensure that the rights and well being of the Sentinelese are safeguarded. These are being strictly implemented and enforced by the UT Administration. These Laws/Regulation include i) A &N Islands (PAT) Regulation 1956, ii) Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, iii) Restrictions under Foreigner (Restricted Area) Orders, 1963, iv) Visa Manual Conditions/Passport Act 1920, and v) Indian Forest Act, 1927 and Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Besides, some major steps taken to ensure the protection of Sentinelese are:


  • The entire North Sentinel Island along with 5 km coastal sea from high water mark is notified as tribal reserve.
  • The Sentinelese are still in isolation practicing primordial hunting and gathering way of life. The Government respects their way of life style, therefore, has adopted an ‘eyes-on and hands-off’ practice to protect and safeguard the Sentinelese tribe.
  • A protocol of circumnavigation of the North Sentinel Island has been notified.  The ships and aircrafts of Coast Guard and boats of Marine Police make sorties around North Sentinel to keep surveillance.


Apart from the land territory the coastal sea up to fixed extent of 1 Km to 5 Km abutting the tribal territory has also been notified as tribal reserve so that marine resources like fish, turtle etc are available exclusively for the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).  The vehicular traffic on Andaman Trunk Road passing through Jarawa reserve is regulated by convoy system. Buffer Zone notified in 2013, around the Jarawa Tribal Reserve (5km landward side and 1km seaward side), prohibits all commercial / tourism activity in the Buffer Zone.  Joint patrolling by Police, Forest & Andaman Adim Janjati Vikas Samiti (AAJVS) is carried out around Jarawa area to prevent contact of poachers and unscrupulous non-tribal elements with Jarawa tribe. A Special Police Team (01 SI and 10 PCs) for patrolling at Tirrur, adjacent to the Jarawa Tribal Reserve, has also been deployed. The ships and aircrafts of Coast Guard and boats of Marine Police make sorties around North Sentinel to keep surveillance.


The details of population of the Sentinelese and Jarawa Tribes are as under:



Name of the tribe




514 (till date)



50 estimated as per 2011 census



The number of confrontational incidents occurred during the last ten years with the Sentinelese and the Jarawas tribe are given as under:


(i)         Sentinelese      --          01(one)


(ii)        Jarawas                        --          19(Nineteen)


This was stated by the Minister of State for Home Affairs Shri Hansraj Gangaram Ahir in a written reply to question in the Lok Sabha today.



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