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Stone age Jarawa tribe give tough time to Andaman villagers

Written by: Staff
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Tushnabad, (South Andaman), Nov 1 (UNI) Villagers of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, living close to Jarawa Reserve Forests, are reeling under Jarawa menace.

Members of Stone-age Jarawa tribal community often invade plantations of villagers and take away whatever they lay hands on.

''This has become a regular affair. They plunder and go back. The villagers are totally at their mercy,'' Mahadev Majhi, Pradhan of Tushnabad, one of the Jarawa affected villages told mediapersons today.

Jarawas are primitive tribes found only in the middle and southern region of Andaman group of Islands.

At present their population is around 200 and they often face crisis of food inside the forest, which drive them out jungle.

The villages of Tirur, Collinpur and Manipur at the west coast of South Andaman, about 30 km from Port Blair, have to bear the brunt of Jarawa invasion every now and then.

They often come in groups, pluck coconuts and bananas, put up a temporary camp and stay for a few days to a couple of months and when they are bored with the new routine they disappear into the jungle.

''In a similar sojourn recently 40 Jarawas descended on Collinpur, climbed up the coconut trees and chopped down a lot of leaves from each tree. They later collected those leaves and set up huts about 30 metres from the village,'' Majhi complained.

He said members of the Jarawa community also plucked over a thousand green coconuts, enjoyed it and left behind the wastes and went away.

According to reports, the tribals camped there for two days and then went back inside the forest.

''Tsunami hit farmers are dependent on fishing and whatever plantation crop they have. Now the it seems the plantation crops too have become uncertain for us,'' the Pradhan complained while talking to mediapersons in Tushnabad, a village of South Andaman.

The PRI member demanded a system of compensation for the villagers whenever Jarawas plunder their plantations. ''Department of Tribal Welfare or Andaman Adim Janjati Vikas Samiti can make provision for such compensation,'' he added.

''However, the Adim Janjati Vikas Samiti claims that they are doing their best for the protection of villagers from the Jarawas.

''We have put our staff at every village are close to the Jarawa Reserve Forest for controlling them,'' said a senior member of Andaman Adim Janjati Vikas Samiti.

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