The Editor, Andaman Chronicle
Your news item “IRBn men break convoy rules to interact and mingle with Jarawa girls” is a routine affair. I traveled by STS bus to Rangat the very next day of the incident. During the mandatory stop at Jirkatang, a group of regular commuters were discussing the incident over a cup of tea. I learnt JPP two wheeler pilot (read police) on his motorcycle led the convoy at walking speed that day (12/05/2011). To add insult to the injury, the two wheeler pilot even stopped his motorcycle midway to further delay the convoy. Starting at 0630 am from Jirkatang, the convoy reached Middle Strait at 0820 am taking 1 hr 50 min to cover the distance of 50 Km. Meaning the convoy proceeded at an average speed of 27 kmph against the stipulated speed of 40 kmph.
The next day (13/05/2011) when I traveled, our convoy took 1 hr 45 min to reach Middle Strait, at an average speed of 28 kmph. At few places the convoy proceeded at walking speed, tempting enough to get down, attend natures call and board the bus once again. Though all of us in the Bambooflat express were islanders traveling for bonafide reasons, none of us got down, but what the tourists were doing while the convoy was progressing at walking speed through the Jarawa reserve, perhaps I do not want to hazard a guess. But what I saw during my return trip on 15/05/2011, was far more horrible. If such scenes are reported, it may not go well with the so called guardians of the tribals. Moreover the matter is relating to Jarawas and everything relating to Jarawas is sacrosanct.
Those officials, who rose to the occasion, took the unconventional step of reporting the facts deserve praise. Our country men ought to know “who” is doing “what” to “whom” in the ATR in the cover of convoy. Novel tactics are being applied to harass the general public in the name of convoy, whereas the elite few, enjoy free ride in the ATR through tribal reserve. I thank Andaman Chronicle for placing the matter in the public domain.

Debkumar Bhadra
Shore Point, Bambooflat, S Andaman-744107