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Sentineli, North Sentinel Island, Andaman Islands, Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean

Sentineli, North Sentinel Island, Andaman Islands, Bay Of Bengal, Indian Ocean

Incidents of contact
In January 1880, an armed British expedition to the island led by 20-year-old Maurice Vidal Portman, the local colonial administrator, arrived to conduct a survey of the island, and to take a prisoner, in accordance with British policy to pacify unfriendly tribes at the time, which was to abduct a member of the tribe, treat them well and give them gifts, and release them back to the tribe, hoping to demonstrate friendliness. Portman's expedition of the island is believed to be the first by outsiders. While the Sentinelese tended to disappear into the jungle whenever outsiders were spotted approaching, Portman's expedition found an elderly couple and four children after several days. They were taken prisoner and brought to Port Blair. The elderly couple became ill and died, probably from contracting diseases to which they did not have immunity. The four children were returned to the island, given gifts, and released. The children then disappeared into the jungle. After this incident, the British did not try to contact the Sentinelese again and instead focused on other tribes.
In 1967, the Indian government began a series of "Contact Expeditions" to the island. The programme was managed by the Director of Tribal Welfare and anthropologist T. N. Pandit. The first expedition, headed by Pandit, included armed police and naval officers. The Sentinelese retreated into the jungle, and the expedition failed to make contact with any of them. During these expeditions, an Indian Navy vessel would anchor outside the coral reefs and send small boats to approach the beaches, and while keeping a distance, the crew would drop various gifts into the water to wash up on shore. If the Sentinelese fled for the jungle, the parties might land on shore and drop off the gifts before leaving.
On 29 March 1970, a research party of Indian anthropologists, which included Pandit, found themselves cornered on the reef flats between North Sentinel and Constance Island. An eyewitness recorded the following from his vantage point on a boat lying off the beach:

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