Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Onge Death toll is now eight

Sent by Denis Giles

Andaman Chronicle: Dec. 11, 2008

8 Members of Onge Tribe Die After Consuming Mysterious Liquid In
Dugong Creek

Port Blair, Dec. 10: Eight members of Onge tribe died while 15 have
been admitted in G.B. Pant Hospital, Port Blair after consuming
mysterious liquid on 7th Dec. 2008. The mysterious liquid filled in a
plastic can was found by the Onge members at the beach side in Dugong
Creek. Mistaking it to be alcohol, a group of 23 tribesmen consumed
it late in the evening hours on 7th Dec.
Soon after consuming the toxic liquid, 5 died on the spot while 2
died when they were being evacuated on 9th Dec. 2008. According to
the latest reports, out of 16 members flown to Port Blair, one could
not survive even after reaching G.B. Pant Hospital and the condition
of another patient is critical. He is presently admitted in the
Intensive Care Unit.

The names of 14 surviving members admitted in Medical Surgical Ward 2
of G.B. Pant are: Tana Guru 55 yrs, Thai 55 yrs, Bellai 50 yrs,
Suresh 25 yrs, Prashant 18 yrs, Jain 28 yrs, Dilip 8 yrs, Mohan Lall
50 yrs, Chogagoe 46 yrs, Bharat 12 yrs, Sani 15 yrs, Santosh 28 yrs,
Rakesh 26 yrs and Tata Nagi 55 yrs. It is learnt that Tata Nagi 55
is suffering from vision problem since the time of the incident.

Lt. Governor orders inquiry into the death of Onge tribe: The Lt.
Governor, Lt. General (Retd.) Bhopinder Singh, PVSM, AVSM accompanied
by the Chief Secretary, Shri Vivek Rae, Director General of Police,
Shri Ranjit Narayan and senior officers of the A&N Administration
today visited the Onge settlement of Dugong Creek in Little Andaman
and had first hand information on the incident of death of the Onge
tribal. The poisonous liquid has been sent for chemical analysis.
The Lt. Governor discussed the issue with senior officers and ordered
an inquiry into the incident. Soon after returning to Port Blair
today, the Lt. Governor visited G. B. Pant Hospital and interacted
with the Onge patients who are recuperating in the hospital. He
further directed all the concerned authorities to enforce strict
measures for ensuring the safety and security of all the tribal
people in the Islands so that such incidents do not take place in

Later, a meeting was held under the Chairmanship of the Lt. Governor
at Raj Niwas in which various issues pertaining to the welfare of the
tribal population and measures to be taken for protecting the
primitive tribe from such incidents in future were discussed.
The Lt. Governor has issued instructions to the Police authorities to
ensure strict compliance of convoy system on the ATR and emphasized
that any violation of the convoy system be dealt with strictly by
them. Measures to close the ATR to the tourists in the near future to
protect the primitive Jarawa tribe were also discussed.

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