NEW DELHI: An American tourist was allegedly killed by some people belonging to a protected tribe in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the police said. 

Seven fishermen who took the tourist John Allen Chau to the North Sentinel Island have been arrested. The indigenous Sentinelese people, whose population as per Census 2011 was 40, live on this island, the police said. It is well-known fact that these tribals resist 

According to local media, Chau was a missionary who wanted to meet the Sentinelese in order to preach Christianity.

The Andaman Sheekha newspaper quoted sources to report that Chau "visited Andaman and Nicobar Islands five times in past and had a strong desire to meet Sentinelese Tribes for preaching Christianity."

The newspaper reported that Chau had gone to the North Sentinel Island sometime in the last five days with the help of a fisherman.

The fishermen told the police that they last saw the American tourist being attacked with bows and arrows after he landed on the island towards the southern Andamans on November 16. The tribes dragged the 27-year-old tourist to the beach before he disappeared from sight, they told the police.

Sources said the authorities have launched helicopter search teams to look for the body. They said the helicopters are unable to land at the island as the Sentinelese are hostile to any attempt at approaching them.

Only people who have high-level access and permission can visit the protected areas as the strategic Andaman and Nicobar Islands is not only home to the protected tribes, but also has a large presence of the defence forces with sensitive installations.

(With agency inputs)