India urged to abandon plans to recover body of American

NEW DELHI (AP) — A rights group that works to protect tribal people has urged Indian authorities to abandon efforts to recover the body of an American man who was thought to be killed by inhabitants of an island where outsiders are effectively forbidden by Indian law.

The group, Survival International, said in a statement Monday that the islanders could be exposed to deadly diseases if rescuers set foot onto North Sentinel Island, where John Allen Chau was killed earlier this month. Notes Chau left behind say he wanted to bring Christianity to the islanders.

Indian officials have traveled repeatedly in recent days near the remote island but have not set foot on it yet.

Scholars believe the Sentinelese are descendants of Africans who migrated to the area about 50,000 years ago.