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Sikh News Sikh who befriended Jarawas is no more

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by drkhalsa, Jan 11, 2005.

  1. drkhalsa

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    Sep 16, 2004
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    Sikh who befriended Jarawas is no more
    Sarbjit Dhaliwal
    Tribune News Service

    Chandigarh, January 10
    A Port Blair-based retired Sikh police officer, Mr Bakhtawar Singh, who was first to establish contact with the Jarawas in the forests of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands died yesterday.

    He was cremated at Port Blair today. Hundreds of people, including tribesmen, especially the Onges, participated in a colourful procession that was oraganised as part of his wish. “It was my father’s wish that none should weep following his death and his funeral procession be marked by recitation of kirtan,” said Mr Sarabjit Singh, employed as Assistant Engineer in the Agriculture Department at Port Blair, talking to The Tribune on the phone.

    Shortly before the tsunami waves hit the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Mr Bakhtawar Singh, had suffered a heart attack. He was discharged from the Port Blair hospital on December 25.

    He had predicted that the Jarawas would have survived the death waves.

    He was proved right.

    Born in Hargana village near Khanna in Fatehgarh Sahib on March 9, 1915, Mr Bakhtawar Singh joined the police in 1935 as constable at Port Blair. He retired as Deputy Superintendent of Police in 1973. Keeping in view his exceptional work on establishing ties with the Jarawas, he was given three years extension and made Commandant, Bush Police. He served in this capacity till 1976.

    Later, he was made Executive Secretary of the Andaman Adi Janjati Vikas Saimiti.

    Mr Bakhtwar Singh had learnt the language of the Jarawas and talked to them in their language.

    The tribe which had resisted the construction of roads in their area and shot dead several PWD officials who dared to tread their territory, had developed complete faith in him.

    A valuable link with the Jarawas and other tribesmen has been lost with his death.
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  3. Arvind

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    SPNer Contributor Supporter

    Jul 13, 2004
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    May the pioneer's soul rest in peace.

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