Union Minister Kiren Rijiju Tuesday said China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had confirmed that five youth from Arunachal Pradesh who went missing three days ago were found on their side. Rijiju also said the modalities of the handover process of the youths were being worked out.
“China’s PLA has responded to the hotline message sent by the Indian Army. They have confirmed that the missing youths from Arunachal Pradesh have been found by their side,” Rijiju said in a tweet.
China’s PLA has responded to the hotline message sent by Indian Army. They have confirmed that the missing youths from Arunachal Pradesh have been found by their side. Further modalities to handover the persons to our authority is being worked out.
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) September 8, 2020
Meanwhile, Defence spokesperson Lt. Col Harsh Wardhan Pande told The Indian Express that standard operating procedures are being followed to get the youths back. “Today we have received a communication from the PLA about the whereabouts of the five missing Arunachal Pradesh boys. The standard operating procedures are being followed to get them back as soon as possible,” he said.
The development comes two days after Rijiju said the Indian Army had sent a hotline message to the establishment of People’s Liberation Army. The Indian Army had also approached the Chinese military following reports of “abduction” of five people from the Upper Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh by the PLA.
The incident came to light after a tweet by Tapir Gao, an MP from East Arunachal constituency. Gao in his tweet had said, “5 Tagin youths have reportedly been abducted by China’s #PLA from Sera7 area below the McMahon Line under Indian territory in Upper Subansiri in Arunachal since 3rd Sept. Similar incident happened in March. Time to take a stand against #CCP”. The five youths belonged to the Tagin tribe.
The incident was also tweeted by Congress MLA Ninong Ering and he had attached screenshots from Facebook by one Prakash Ringling who wrote that his brother and four others were abducted by the PLA in the Sera-7 area on the Indo-China border.
A probe was also launched into the matter by the local police, a senior official of the Arunachal government had said earlier.
The reports of abduction came at a time when the Indian Army has enhanced its deployment along the 3,400 km-long Line of Actual Control in view of the simmering dispute between the two countries in the Pangong Tso area of eastern Ladakh.
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